Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) AAPL +1.36% CEO Tim Cook said at the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting that sales of its Apple TV set top box surpassed $1 billion in 2013. He said the set top box business was no longer a “hobby” for the company. At the meeting, he also teased upcoming products and took pot shots at rivals. But what surprised many was Cook’s furious response to the investor and conservative think tank National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR).
During the question & answer session, NCPPR questioned Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) AAPL +1.36%’s stance on green energy programs and goals. The iPhone maker has spent millions of dollars on environment-friendly projects, and aims to have 100% of its power come from green energy sources. Tim Cook has insisted on the importance of conserving the environment and helping people rather than focusing entirely on profit.
The NCPPR asked the tech giant not to put its money in green initiatives, as they are not profitable, and look at return on investments (ROI). The NCPPR representative wanted Cook to commit right there that he will do only those things that are profitable for the Cupertino-based tech giant.
According to eyewitnesses, Cook responded furiously. Bryan Chaffin of The Mac Observer, who attended the meeting, said it was the first time he saw Cook angry. Cook rejected the group’s premise, and said that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) AAPL +1.36% has done a lot of things simply because they are right. And ROI has not been a concern in such issues. “When we work on making our devices accessible by the blind, I don’t consider the bloody ROI,” he added.
Cook is well-known for his calm and level-headed demeanor. But the use of “bloody” in his response shows that he was quite angry. His face contracted, and his body language changed immediately. Apple Inc. CEO said the company wants to leave the world better than the tech giant found it. Anyway, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) AAPL +1.36% shareholders voted down the conservative think tank’s proposal at the meeting. NCPPR had proposed that the company must disclose the costs of any green energy projects it has invested in.
And then, Tim Cook looked directly into the eyes of the NCPPR representative and said, “If you want me to do things only for ROI reasons, you should get out of this stock.”
Meanwhile, you can read the NCPPR’s own version of the event here.