Tim Cook was awarded the Human Rights Campaign's prestigious Visibility Award last night.
It's hard to watch his acceptance speech on the anniversary of Steve Jobs' death—almost to the day—and not think about how much Apple has changed in four years.
Not in terms of Apple's business model. Not in terms of the kinds of products it brings to market. But in terms of Apple's public persona.
I'm talking about the things Tim Cook has done that it's hard to imagine Steve Jobs doing, no matter how long he lived.
I've been keeping a list. I'm up to seven:
- Come out as gay, march in a LGBT-rights parade, win a civil rights visibility award
- Name two women and a black man to Apple's (8-member) board of directors
- Pick a fight with the President and the FBI over strong cryptography
- Take a public stand on racial justice, immigration reform and privacy rights
- Commit the company to carbon neutrality and supplier responsibility
- Lobby congressmen in their offices, testify before U.S. senators
- Return $200 billion to Apple's shareholders and borrow the money to do it
That's my list. Feel free to add to it.
Below: Cook takes the stage at the 7:00 minute mark, but don't miss the video that starts with Stephen Colbert at 2:59.