Cook is willing to be more public. He hasn’t yet taken the Marc Benioff route, as we wrote about last week, of pulling Salesforce.com business from states such as Indiana that pass such laws.
That doesn’t seem like Apple’s approach. But still, Cook is putting the Apple brand in the middle of the debate. And that must come with some risks, such as reduced sales by supporters of such measures.
There is a risk whenever a CEO takes a public stand on a political topic, and an even greater risk when he invests the entire company in a political crusade. I do not, however, think that this is the real problem. The real problem is Democracy.
Here is a thought exercise.
Are you opposed to the Supreme Court’s decision on Citizens United v. FEC?
How do you feel about Apple And Salesforce.com putting their money into campaigns to support same-sex marriage?
Think of your answers to the two questions. Now consider:
Is it possible to oppose Citizens United and support the right of Apple and Salesforce.com to spend their money on political action?
Is it possible to support Citizens United and argue against the involvement of Apple and Salesforce.com in politics?
I would argue that the answer to both of those is “not without acknowledging your own hypocrisy.”
Something to think about.