Now that everyone has had some time to process the shocking presidential election victory of Donald Trump, reactions are trickling out. Apple CEO Tim Cook, who opposed Trump, but supported House Republicans, wrote in an email to employees Wednesday evening that “we only do great work and improve the world by moving forward.”
Without mentioning Trump by name, or discussing any of his policies, Cook attempted to address anxiety felt by minority groups over the election results.
“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,” Cook wrote in the email, which was obtained by BuzzFeed.
Apple is one of several tech companies Trump has feuded with during his rise to the presidency. He famously singled out Apple for overseas manufacturing when he said he was going to get the company to “start building their damn computers and things in this country” during a speech in January at Liberty University.
Trump went on to call for a boycott of Apple products after the company refused to give up confidential information from an iPhone owned by one of the terrorists involved in a shooting in San Bernadino, Calif. The FBI had been requesting that Apple supply the data.
Cook did not support Trump’s run, and his comments and actions unnerved Apple enough to convince the tech company to pull its funding and other support for the Republican National Convention. Cook held a fundraiser for Trump’s opponent Hillary Clinton in August, but maintained his support for House Republicans, hosting a fundraiser for with House Speaker Paul Ryan over the summer as well.
Cook’s forward-looking approach to the election results is similar to that of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who also had issues with Trump during the campaign. Another tech giant, Microsoft, also took a diplomatic tone in its reaction to the election.
Other’s weren’t so calm about the election. 500 Startups founder and investor Dave McClure voiced his frustration at the Web Summit in Lisbon Wednesday. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said he was stunned at the result but “hopeful that we will overcome the vitriol and division of this unprecedented election season.”
Here is Cook’s memo in full:
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!