After months of a deeply polarized election, Donald Trump emerged as the winner in the US Presidential race. For Silicon Valley, the news doesn’t come as a particularly good one, given the President-elect’s views on immigration, surveillance, and other issues. While some like Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg have chosen to speak about the work ahead, Apple CEO Tim Cook has been publicily silent on the results. But he did send ‘all-hands’ memo to the company’s employees on Wednesday, reminding them that as a team they need to be united and how Apple has always cherised diversity.
In the memo, Tim Cook has asked the employees to understand that Apple has a rich diversity of employees, and even while many of them supported the other candidate – it was time to ‘move forward together’. He added that Apple products are developed to connect people everywhere, and that the company celebrates the ethnic diversity of its teams ‘regardless of what they look like’.
He wrote in the memo, “I’ve always looked at Apple as one big family and I encourage you to reach out to your co-workers if they are feeling anxious.”
Apple and Donald Trump do not have a smooth history, considering that the latter asked people to boycott Apple products (back in February 2016) until the Cupertino giant refused to help FBI break into the locked iPhone of the San Bernardino shooter.
Tim Cook had argued at the time that Apple is ‘a great American company’ and that doing so would help set a dangerous legal precedence for the country. Interestingly while Trump had been quick to call for a boycott of Apple products, he was found still tweeting from an iPhone. The President-elect has also said in his campaign, he will get Apple to manufacture in the United States, and not China.
Here is the complete memo that Tim Cook had sent which was shared by Buzzfeed first.
I’ve heard from many of you today about the presidential election. In a political contest where the candidates were so different and each received a similar number of popular votes, it’s inevitable that the aftermath leaves many of you with strong feelings.
We have a very diverse team of employees, including supporters of each of the candidates. Regardless of which candidate each of us supported as individuals, the only way to move forward is to move forward together. I recall something Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said 50 years ago: “If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” This advice is timeless, and a reminder that we only do great work and improve the world by moving forward.
While there is discussion today about uncertainties ahead, you can be confident that Apple’s North Star hasn’t changed. Our products connect people everywhere, and they provide the tools for our customers to do great things to improve their lives and the world at large. Our company is open to all, and we celebrate the diversity of our team here in the United States and around the world — regardless of what they look like, where they come from, how they worship or who they love.
I’ve always looked at Apple as one big family and I encourage you to reach out to your co-workers if they are feeling anxious.
Let’s move forward — together!