When you become as big as Starbucks or Amazon or Apple, you have become bigger than one person, bigger than your shareholders and bigger than your brand. All of a sudden you represent a diverse workforce and customer base; how you treat these people matters internally as well as externally, both in the court of public opinion and as the zeitgeist evolves.
Gay rights matters now more than ever with the Supreme Court finally taking up the issue. "The people" should not have
the right to vote
on matters that directly impact the rights of others. That's the side I hope the justices come down on.
But, with this being said, I ask again:
What is Tim Cook's stance on the issue?
Schultz and Bezos, both straight as far as we know, have made bold moves as leaders of public companies serving a wide set of customers. Cook, who, reportedly, is gay, has not, as far as I know, made public comments on being gay or on gay rights issues.
How powerful would it be if one of
the most powerful
CEOs in the world took a stand like Schultz and Bezos have?
You can argue that I have no right to prescribe activism for Tim Cook.
I retort that if Tim Cook acts, he might save lives. He'll certainly help remove the stigma that gays and lesbians deal with -- every day -- in our society. And he -- as well as Apple -- will become a worthwhile part of the conversation at a time when the "debate" (it's just ludicrous that we accept calling it a "debate") is about to take its most historical turn.
Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.