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Apple’s new CEO, Tim Cook, could be the world’s most powerful gay executive

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The sudden resignation on Wednesday of Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs paves the way for the ascension of Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook, who, upon being named Apple’s new CEO, was hailed by many in the LGBT community as possibly the world’s most powerful gay executive.

Apple

Tim Cook

Cook, 50, who has remained private about his sexual orientation, was outed earlier this year by Gawker when it named him “the most powerful gay man in Silicon Valley.”

After Cook was profiled as a “lifelong bachelor” and “intensely private” elsewhere, we wondered if he might be gay. We’ve since heard from two well-placed sources that this is indeed the case, and it sounds like Cook’s sexual orientation has been the topic of at least some discussion within the company.

Cook would be, by far, the most powerful openly gay executive in tech, trailed by Microsoft’s openly lesbian HR chief Lisa Brummel and by Megan Smith, the former PlanetOut CEO now working as Google’s vice president of new business development.

And though he has never publicly announced that he is gay, Out magazine subsequently ranked Cook number one in their Power 50 index, an annual list of the most influential members of the LGBT community.

If Cook — often described as the genius behind Jobs and a key to the success of Apple’s operations — is in fact gay, and comes out publicly, he would instantly become the most recognizable role model for LGBT people in the corporate world.

Established in April 1976 in Cupertino, Calif., Apple is one of the largest companies in the world by market capitalization and the most valuable technology company in the world, ahead of Microsoft, with worldwide annual sales of more than $65 billion.

In 2008, Apple publicly opposed Proposition 8California’s voter-approved ban on gay marriage — and donated $100,000 to the “No on 8″ campaign.

Jobs will remain at Apple as Chairman of the Board and Cook will join the Board, effective immediately.

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22 more reader comments:

  1. cool !

    Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 12:03am
  2. SWEET!!!!

    Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 12:04am
  3. for everyone who told me that homosexuals couldn’t be successful…..suck it.

    Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 12:06am
  4. I really don’t know much about this guy but my question is this.. Does he really care about gay rights? And those who are suffering because of our unjust social attitude towards gay men and women? Does he give a damn?

    Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 12:07am
  5. if he comes out, he will be a great role-model. If he chose not to, we also have to respect his choice.

    Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 12:08am
  6. POWER GAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! =]

    Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 12:14am
  7. @William I think this post outed him if he wasn’t already out.

    Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 12:22am
  8. really? why point out that he is gay? is it surprising that a gay person could be that talented, does his sexual preference really matter at work? omg

    Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 12:23am
  9. Yeah, no one ever says “The new heterosexual CEO is…”

    Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 12:58am
  10. Outstanding people are most gay!

    Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 12:58am
  11. @Sue: Because there are people who are so close minded that they think LGBT people are weak, so pointing out his sexuality does serve a purpose. They’re not saying it makes him a better CEO. A lot of people don’t view LGBTers as useful.

    Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 1:24am
  12. Why? Can I just ask why there is articles about him being gay i he has not come out. So not right. Upsets me. Is this universe patheic enough to push gay onto someone and push someone to coming out. or to even make news articles on someone thats obiously not ready to come out? Leave him be!

    Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 2:10am
  13. @Junior, I never heard of him until ealier today myself… You ask a good question, will he help us, or himself? I also have a question, is he also anti-porn like Jobs? I remember reading once that Jobs would block porn from his devices… Maybe it was a rumor…

    Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 2:12am
  14. perhaps some day we will live in a world where this kind of thing will be completely inconsequential.

    Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 2:35am
  15. Apple’s New CEO Tim Cook is One of those inspiring people in my life
    Next to Steve jobs :) going to miss seeing him

    Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 2:52am
  16. OMG HE IS. THAT FABULOUS

    Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 3:24am
  17. It’s important to know he’s gay because if the internet crashes, we will know who to blame.

    Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 4:29am
  18. …. jk, of course.

    Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 4:30am
  19. did we also mention he’s gay!

    Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 4:40am
  20. is he single ??? ;)

    Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 6:20am
  21. Sadly he had to become successful by being in the closet.

    Posted on Friday, August 26, 2011 at 3:11pm
  22. go gay power :D

    Posted on Friday, August 26, 2011 at 8:08pm