A new era of corporate responsibility?

Tim CookFor a while now, Apple has been working to improve worker conditions, and is using more and more ‘green’ energy (they plan to eventually get 100% of their power that way).  At the recent shareholder meeting, the NCPPR challenged CEO Tim Cook on the costs of this strategy, wanting Apple to focus more on Return on Investment (ROI) and not pursue issues that don’t boost that.  Their proposal was soundly rejected by 97% of shareholders, and Cook displayed unusual emotion in his response to the spoken question at the shareholder meeting, telling the NCPPR rep, “If you want me to do things only for ROI reasons, you should get out of this stock.”  Way to go Tim!  Cook is clearly making decisions based on human ethics and morals, and it’s great to see a company as large as Apple to do this – and to be supported by its shareholders!  I hope this encourages other large corporations to take a stand against ROI and start doing what’s morally right.

Cook also gave an example of doing things for other than ROI, when he said, “When we work on making our devices accessible by the blind,” he said, “I don’t consider the bloody ROI.”

For a long time, I’d concluded that large corporations are a form of artificial intelligence…they make decisions which a single person would not normally make, and their profit-focused intelligence is again, not a very human one.  Tim Cook’s recent actions give me hope that this corporate AI may not be all-conquering, that there may still be exceptions to this.  Resisting that AI clearly requires a strong leader like Tim Cook though, and that’s the challenge for any company.

You can read more about this over at MacObserver.