Apple CEO Tim Cook on Ethical Leadership

Apple CEO Tim Cook on Ethical Leadership

– You have a very strong ethical compass and so it’s kind of a
two-part question, which is: Where does that come from,
how is it that you’ve found your ethical compass and
have such strong convictions and the other thing is
I’d like you to tell us what ethical leadership
really means to you? – Well I think the, sort of
the compass comes from parents, and parents and who you surround
yourselves with, friends, and it’s sort of that
collective group of people that influence you the most
and so I would say that’s largely the fact of others
and others that have influenced me over the years. In terms of ethics I
think when most people or many people in business think of ethics they think of accounting fraud, and they think of insider trading, and you know, this and that sort of the group of companies that
did some bad things with the Enrons, the World
Coms, this kind of thing. But this is not what I think
of because I think largely those are very extreme, small percentage of businesses. So when I think of ethics I think of leaving things better than you found them. And to me that goes from
everything from environmentally, to how you work with suppliers
with labor questions, to your carbon footprint of your products, to the things you choose to support, to the way you treat your employees, Your whole persona, to me,
fits under that umbrella. And the … And the simple way to think about it to me is leaving things better
than you found them. And that is what we try to do
at Apple in a very simple way and it’s what the way
I try to lead my life.


  1. I'm a Mac and iPhone user, but are y kidding me, ethical compass? The recent news on Apple's supply chain involved with serious environmental and social responsibility problems were a huge disappointment for me as a Sustainability MBA professor that travels around Brazil lecturing. Their case study is used by me at the exams applied to my students! Double standards, it seems…

  2. This question was a joke. But TC as surprised as he was decided to try and answer it as if Apple was not just sued for deleting non-iTunes based music etc etc

  3. while continuing to neglect Apple stores, Tell straight bakers how to run their business, trade carbon credits under the guise of clean energy and hide money in offshore holdings while transferring technology under the guise of moving profits in a shell game.  This is a very george Bush type of answer.

  4. if he would be such a great leader as he says he would pay more to Chinese workers in his factory not just let them suicide . these are just a unrealistic statements, so he can try get more attention and more people to buy his product . if agency company would not find out that factory where they product his phones doesn't pay enough and has extreme terrible condition he would never improve it.

  5. Cook said that the confidence to be a leader comes from your early surroundings such as your family and friends, and that what he thinks of ethics is leaving things better than he found them.

  6. leaving things better than you found them….that's like saying, Hey, at least I didn't do that….it's to redirect the attention from what you've actually done

  7. Ethical? Tim Cook? You mean like how his company actively lobbies against the Right to Repair legislation, creates products designed to fail, and then creates "Service Programs" that COST MONEY for things that should have been recalled? Like the 6 Plus, MacBook Pro 2011 15"/17", and the MacBooks with First Gen Butterfly Keyboards? Good one.

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