On the eve of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, CEO Tim Cook sat down to talk— not about flashy gadgets and vanity sales statistics, as one might expect in the lead-up to one of Apple's major media events for the year, but about the need for greater diversity in the technology industry. "It's the future of our company," Cook said in the interview, when asked about Apple's attempts to improve diversity within the company. "I think the most diverse group will produce the best product. I firmly believe that."
Talking about diversity instead of products ahead of a developer conference? File this under the long list of things Steve Jobs would probably never have done.
Cook's interest in diversity, in climate change, in gay rights, in a long list of social issues that most CEOs rarely touch, show that the Apple CEO is as interested in the company's moral standing as in its innovation. Since Cook took over as CEO following Jobs' death in 2011, he has differentiated himself from his famous predecessor by staking out moral ground on issues ranging from diversity to renewable energy to philanthropy. In the process, he has arguably helped polish and modernize the Apple brand. Indeed, he may just prove that Apple's most powerful new product of the Tim Cook era may be Tim Cook himself.
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