Tim Cook was nominated for Time’s 2014 Person of the Year, but ultimately, the title went to the Ebola fighters – they deserve it. But this didn’t stop the Financial Times giving Apple’s CEO the award: Tim Cook was chosen as the Person of the Year because he was able to fight the initial criticism and “turned things round in 2014.
The Financial Times published a lengthy article profiling Tim Cook over the past 11 months. The first notable reaction from Apple’s CEO came in February at the company’s annual shareholder meeting, when he exploded: “I don’t think about the bloody ROI”.
“We do things for other reasons than a profit motive, we do things because they are right and just,” Mr Cook growled. Whether in human rights, renewable energy or accessibility for people with special needs, “I don’t think about the bloody ROI,” Mr Cook said, in the same stern, uncompromising tone that Apple employees hope they never have to hear. “Just to be very straightforward with you, if that’s a hard line for you?.?.?.?then you should get out of the stock.”
Since then, a lot has happened around Apple: The new iPhones continue to set new records, a new product, the Apple Watch is coming, and Apple Pay is being used by more and more people. Furthermore, there are rumours of a Chinese launch for Q1 2015. Also, Apple has partnered up with IBM and recently launched the first set of MobileFirst apps.
Investors seem to be siding with Tim Cook, and it’s not because of the financial success and dazzling new technology, the Financial Times says. His sexual orientation and courage to speak up are also setting him apart from the other Forbes 500 CEOs, for example, the FT suggests.
“Even though I’m an engineer and an analytical person at heart, the most important decisions I’ve ever made had nothing to do with any of that,” Tim Cook told an interviewer at Duke University, where he studied for an MBA, last year. “They were always based on intuition.”