Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the new iPad Air on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013, in San Francisco.
Apple chief Tim Cook angrily told global warming skeptics to sell their Apple stock if they don't agree with his promise to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Cook became visibly angry at Apple's annual shareholder meeting when confronted
by a member of the National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative think tank, which had previously put forth a shareholder proposal for Apple to disclose how much money was spent fighting greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Guardian. The proposal was overwhelmingly defeated, yet Justin Danhof of the NCPPR continued to question Cook's decisions and ask that he commit to only investing in profits rather than environmental or other causes.
What ensued was the only time I can recall seeing Tim Cook angry, and he categorically rejected the worldview behind the NCPPR's advocacy. He said that there are many things Apple does because they are right and just, and that a return on investment (ROI) was not the primary consideration on such issues.
"When we work on making our devices accessible by the blind," he said, "I don't consider the bloody ROI." He said that the same thing about environmental issues, worker safety, and other areas where Apple is a leader
Cook's final riposte to Danhof, "If you want me to do things only for ROI reasons, you should get out of this stock."
Not surprisingly, the NCPPR accused Cook of withholding information and likely profits from shareholders.
“Too often investors look at short-term returns and are unaware of corporate policy decisions that may affect long-term financial prospects,” Danhof said in a statement after the meeting. “After today’s meeting, investors can be certain that Apple is wasting untold amounts of shareholder money to combat so-called climate change. The only remaining question is: how much?"
Danhof continued that perhaps Apple shareholders who don't agree with Cook should sell their shares. Despite the remarks, Danhof didn't say whether or not the NCPPR was selling its Apple stock.