Mind blowing: Apple CEO tells 'deniers' to get out of Apple stock

Hmmm. This is the best argument I’ve ever heard for not using Apple products (besides the overinflated prices). Being flush with cash is probably why the CEO says he doesn’t care about the ROI (return on investment) and won’t make the costs transparent per a shareholder request. Seems like a sensible business request to me.

Some headlines/screencaps. FORTUNE magazine:

Apple_headline1

More: http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2014/03/01/apple-cook-shareholders-sustainability/

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The Mac Observer: 

Apple_headline2

More: http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/tim-cook-soundly-rejects-politics-of-the-ncppr-suggests-group-sell-apples-s

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Press release from NCPPR:

Tim Cook to Apple Investors: Drop Dead

Apple CEO Tim Cook tells Investors Who Care More About Return on Investment than Climate Change: Your Money is No Longer Welcome

As Board Member Al Gore Cheers the Tech Giant’s Dedication to Environmental Activism, Investors Left to Wonder Just How Much Shareholder Value is Being Destroyed in Efforts to Combat “Climate Change”

Free-Market Activist Presents Shareholder Resolution to Computer Giant Apple Calling for Consumer Transparency on Environmental Issues; Company Balks

Cupertino, CA / Washington, D.C. – At today’s annual meeting of Apple shareholders in Cupertino, California, Apple CEO Tim Cook informed investors that are primarily concerned with making reasonable economic returns that their money is no longer welcome.

The message came in response to the National Center for Public Policy Research’s shareholder resolution asking the tech giant to be transparent about its environmental activism and a question from the National Center about the company’s environmental initiatives.

“Mr. Cook made it very clear to me that if I, or any other investor, was more concerned with return on investment than reducing carbon dioxide emissions, my investment is no longer welcome at Apple,” said Justin Danhof, Esq., director of the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project.

Danhof also asked Apple CEO Tim Cook about the company’s green energy pursuits. Danhof asked whether the company’s environmental investments increased or decreased the company’s bottom line. After initially suggesting that the investments make economic sense, Cook said the company would pursue environmental goals even if there was no economic point at all to the venture. Danhof further asked if the company’s projects would continue to make sense if the federal government stopped heavily subsidizing alternative energy. Cook completely ignored the inquiry and became visibly agitated.

Danhof went on to ask if Cook was willing to amend Apple’s corporate documents to indicate that the company would not pursue environmental initiatives that have some sort of reasonable return on investment – similar to the concession the National Center recently received from General Electric. This question was greeted by boos and hisses from the Al gore contingency in the room.

“Here’s the bottom line: Apple is as obsessed with the theory of so-called climate change as its board member Al Gore is,” said Danhof. “The company’s CEO fervently wants investors who care more about return on investments than reducing CO2 emissions to no longer invest in Apple. Maybe they should take him up on that advice.”

“Although the National Center’s proposal did not receive the required votes to pass, millions of Apple shareholders now know that the company is involved with organizations that don’t appear to have the best interest of Apple’s investors in mind,” said Danhof. “Too often investors look at short-term returns and are unaware of corporate policy decisions that may affect long-term financial prospects. 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?”

The National Center’s shareholder resolution noted that “[s]ome trade associations and business organizations have expanded beyond the promotion of traditional business goals and are lobbying business executives to pursue objectives with primarily social benefits. This may affect Company profitability and shareholder value. The Company’s involvement and acquiescence in these endeavors lacks transparency, and publicly-available information about the Company’s trade association memberships and related activities is minimal. An annual report to shareholders will help protect shareholder value.”

Apple’s full 2014 proxy statement is available here. The National Center’s proposal, “Report on Company Membership and Involvement with Certain Trade Associations and Business Organizations,” appears on page 60.

The National Center filed the resolution, in part, because of Apple’s membership in the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), one of the country’s largest trade associations. In its 2013 “Retail Sustainability Report,” RILA states: “Companies will often develop individual or industry voluntary programs to reduce the need for government regulations. If a retail company minimizes its waste generation, energy and fuel usage, land-use footprint, and other environmental impacts, and strives to improve the labor conditions of the workers across its product supply chains, it will have a competitive advantage when regulations are developed.”

“This shows that rather than fighting increased government regulation, RILA is cooperating with Washington, D.C.’s stranglehold on American business in a misguided effort to stop so-called climate change,” said Danhof. “That is not an appropriate role for a trade association.”

For even more information on RILA, read “The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA): A Cartel that Threatens Innovation and Competitiveness,” by National Center Senior Fellow Dr. Bonner Cohen.

“Rather than opting for transparency, Apple opposed the National Center’s resolution,” noted Danhof. “Apple’s actions, from hiring of President Obama’s former head of the Environmental Protection Agency Lisa Jackson, to its investments in supposedly 100 percent renewable data centers, to Cook’s antics at today’s meeting, appear to be geared more towards combating so-called climate change rather than developing new and innovative phones and computers.”

After Danhof presented the proposal, a representative of CalPERS rose to object and stated that climate change should be one of corporate America’s primary concerns, and after she called carbon dioxide emissions a “mortal danger,” Apple board member and former vice president Al Gore turned around and loudly clapped and cheered.

“If Apple wants to follow Al Gore and his chimera of climate change, it does so at its own peril,” said Danhof. “Sustainability and the free market can work in concert, but not if Al Gore is directing corporate behavior.”

“Tim Cook, like every other American, is entitled to his own political views and to be an activist of any legal sort he likes on his own time,” said Amy Ridenour, chairman of the National Center for Public Policy Research. “And if Tim Cook, private citizen, does not care that over 95 percent of all climate models have over-forecast the extent of predicted global warming, and wishes to use those faulty models to lobby for government policies that raise prices, kill jobs and retard economic growth and extended lifespans in the Third World, he has a right to lobby as he likes. But as the CEO of a publicly-held corporation, Tim Cook has a responsibility to, consistent with the law, to make money for his investors. If he’d rather be CEO of the Sierra Club or Greenpeace, he should apply.”

“As in the past, Cook took but a handful of questions from the many shareholders present who were eager to ask a question at the one meeting a year in which shareholder questions are taken,” added Ridenour, “leaving many disappointed. Environmentalism may be a byword at Apple, but transparency surely is not.”

The National Center’s Free Enterprise Project is a leading free-market corporate activist group. In 2013, Free Enterprise Project representatives attended 33 shareholder meetings advancing free-market ideals in the areas of health care, energy, taxes, subsidies, regulations, religious freedom, media bias, gun rights and many more important public policy issues. Today’s Apple meeting was the National Center’s third attendance at a shareholder meeting so far in 2014.

The National Center for Public Policy Research is an Apple shareholder, as are National Center executives.

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors.

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h/t to “cincinatuschili”

UPDATE: Yes, he must have.

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Wow. Disgusting. Maybe I should sell my iMac and both iPads.

SasjaL

Intoxicated by rotten apples …

elftone

SHOCK, HORROR – HOLD THE PRESS! Free enterprise CEO sees where the money (currently) is, plays to gallery.
Give him time. He’s making his company look good to those currently in power. It *is* pathetic, but it’s perfectly logical, and when things change, he (or someone like him) will quietly change tack.

RaiderDingo

Why don’t apple let me change to battery for my Ipod instead of having to chuck it?

jdgalt

A cartoon with Al Gore’s face on the worm in the apple wouldn’t be out of line.

CodeTech

Seriously, one of the most wasteful, NON-eco companies on the PLANET is spinning their way into eco-idiots’ minds as a “green” company. And anyone who points it out is free to f** themselves?
From this point on, I’m banning the use or presence of any and all Apple products from my property and business, and I’ll be updating my websites to detect Apple equipment and forward them immediately to an offensive other location.. maybe something religious or conservative.
Apple and their supporters can go f** themselves.

Yikes….AGW belief is beginning to sound like the 666 beast of Revelation whereby one is not allowed to trade or prosper unless you are in of the it!
[“..in on it” instead? Mod]

I’ll inform my financial advisor of Mr. Cook’s opinion so he may divest me of Apple stock.

Chris B

Too cult-like for me. I’m moving away from Apple, like it’s the forbidden fruit.

007

is he aware of the work conditions at foxconn?
can he be taken seriously?

Erny72

Another reason for avoiding crApple. But given the gimmicky toys are crap, incompatible with anything else and cost twice the going rate, weren’t there enough reasons to buy anyone else’s products already.

Stacey

Companies like Apple and Microsoft bleat on about sustainability.
1 Upgrade from an I phone 4 to 5 and you have to have new cables for your computer at work and in car charger. Also if you have a docking station you’ll need a new adapter.
2 Microsoft stopping support for Windows XP means that many businesses will have to dispose of perfectly good machines?

H.R.

Sheesh! Where are these climate change den1ers? I can’t find ’em. Everyone I ask, “Does the climate change?” says – looking askance at me, “What a maroon! Of course it changes. Haven’t you heard about the glaciers?”
Now, ask me about CO2-based CAGW…

One of the most kludged together architectures out there. Good riddance for the two faced second rate company.

maguro

Not really mind-blowing. Progressivism encompasses a whole range of beliefs on seemingly unrelated issues like CAGW, gay marriage and immigration. It’s a complete worldview and it’s very popular in Silicon Valley, so it is not surprising that Apple is taking this position.

Owen in GA

I must say I have no apple products nor intend to purchase any. I am unaware if any of my mutual funds have apple stock in their portfolios, I will have to query them.

R. Shearer

Apple is no more sustainable than Steve Jobs was. Most companies die, just as their founders. Cook and Gore own more than $100 million of Apple stock at the current valuations but the stock is down about 25% from its all time high. I wouldn’t be disappointed in further declines.

W123opennow

Thanks for the heads up. I don’t own any Apple stock, and I’ll be sure not to change that!

Love it!
I have never had need for their overpriced devices that cater to pretentious liberals who worship Apple like a cult religion and Steve Jobs like the Messiah.
http://www.cnn.com/2011/TECH/gaming.gadgets/05/19/apple.religion/

Manfred

Nothing more or less than the marketing of political and fiscal opportunism. One day quite soon, it will not be.

Mark Bofill

lol, please delete prior comment. Muscle memory screwed me up there.
Thanks for the heads up. I don’t own any Apple stock, and I’ll be sure not to change that!

cartoonasaur

Choosing Microsoft over Apple? Both are sucking non-stop on the teat of Guvmint Subsidies for green this, that and the other, while Google enjoys the same green, milky tax-fed goodness for its data centers… It is also silly to say to Apple, “Don’t use the free money,” while their competitors grab fistfuls of the stuff…

Bill

just put in my order to sell on opening – will take a monetary loss but gain some personal satisfaction. Thankfully I don’t have to put up with that bs just to make a few bucks

Marc

Sadly, pretending to be green drives sales to the idiotic masses. The return on being “green” is very high because the young folks doing most of the buying are brainwashed morons.

Lil Fella from OZ

Unreal!

lowercasefred

I don’t know if I qualify as a “denier” in his parlance since I believe there is some warming, but that the catastrophists have grossly overblown the sensitivity. I don’t use a Mac anymore, but I’m due to trade in this i-phone4. Next one will not be an Apple.
C U ’round, Mr. Cook.

cnxtim

And just at the point where I was wavering over my next desktop development system.
I mean, its not about the cloaked Unix OS that is pitched as Apples Very Own, I know that, but I really like the ‘stir weld’ edges to the latest iMac monitor – pity Apple made a deal with the English Aerospace company that invented that cool process so that no other monitor maker could use it.
I guess that is also about sustainability? Or perhaps sustainability is the “15,000 engineers I need to make apples (5? go you fanbois, prove i am wrong) product lines”.
Well that’s what Cook told the little “o” when asked why he didn’t make them in the USA anyway (nothing to do with avoiding US Taxes, silly sceptic me).
So damn it looks like I will have to stay with MS and a plastic case monitor – sigh…
Tell me Cookie, when you screamed ‘get out!’ did that also apply to purchases of products?
It does for me…..
[snip]

@ cartoonasaur :

Choosing Microsoft over Apple? Both are sucking non-stop on the teat of Guvmint Subsidies for green this, that and the other, while Google enjoys the same green, milky tax-fed goodness for its data centers…

Good points. I have been using Linux since the ’90s when an MS virus destroyed some of my work on a computer I was using. I have never looked back and I can’t find much of anything worth doing with a computer that can not be done with a Linux distro. (I have used Debian and Ubuntu mostly; but not entirely)

Kath

Not a problem. I would prefer that the company spend some time and effort ensuring that they minimize their impact on the environment rather than feed more money to the shareholders. Besides, the only other options for Phones and Tablets are Windows and Android. Android has serious malware issues, not to mention Google’s advertising needs, and as for Windows….

JEM

I’ve been avoiding Apple product for over a decade specifically because of their relationship with various green silliness. I wish I were able to pry myself away from Google stuff so readily.
Those who are AAPL shareholders ought to consider a motion to demand that their suppliers and assemblers be powered exclusively by renewables, no ‘offsets’ need apply. I’d love to see Foxconn trying to claim their power is ‘renwable’.

@markstoval
I have never seen a Linux distro that was easier to use, supported more hardware or supported more software than Windows. Since I have always ran Anti-virus software and keep my systems patched, I’ve never had malware destroy anything of mine for over 25 years.

I will have no more business dealings with anything relating to Apple, or their products. They are obviously being run by an idiot.

CodeTech

It’s interesting to read through some of the comments at the sites linked above, CNN and MacObserver. In both cases, Apple fanboys rave on and on about how Apple is so green, skeptics are so stupid, fossil fuels HAVE ruined the planet, WE destroyed the ozone layer, Apple pays the most taxes, Apple is the only company that looks after their masses of Chinese workers, etc.
It’s like reading through some dystopian novel from the 50s. They actually believe that Apple is a great, helpful, dear leader. They think that gigatons of plastic and environmentally harmful manufacturing and distribution, non-replaceable batteries, and massive slabs of disposable hardware, are somehow GOOD for the planet because of the intentions of the company. They believe this, in spite of everything.
Apple fans are truly delusional.

Kath, Android malware issues are overblown and you get free anti-virus,
http://www.avast.com/en-us/free-mobile-security

ossqss

Seems he thinks his “walled garden” can’t be escaped. PffffT!
He probably never really took a look at his iPhone 5 vs a Galaxy Note 3 🙂
When he does, its gonna hurt!
I predict this will be another “Oh The Pain” moment in business history!

I would guess that upwards of 98% of the energy used to manufacture Apple products are
not under the control of Tim Cook or his fellow executive noodleheads. His policies, even if they made any sense, are totally meaningless. My guess is that Cook, as a failing CEO, is using these
meaningless corporate policies to maintain control of his customer base and hold onto his phony baloney job. Someone should have asked him what he means by “sustainability” and why anyone should care. Now THAT response woud have been worth listening to, unlike anything else that has ever come out of Cook’s mouth. I won’t give up my Apple stock or my Apple products. But that’s largely because I don’t own any of the overpriced crap.

Paul in Sweden

Not the first article I have seen on this but I am waiting to hear from someone that knows if a board member of a publicly traded company can do things like this without violating the fiduciary responsibilities to the shareholders. O_o -Paul

Reminds me of the Starbucks CEO who told people who weren’t for gay marriage to get out of the company.
Besides the fascist overtones from Cook on this, it’s obnoxious of him to take this position simply because it’s not like he started the company. He has no more rights to it than any shareholder.
And what about those of us who don’t live in mansions in southern California and actually WANT global warming? What should we do?

Manfred

Poptech – Amazing video, thanks. Pure, unadulterated mutual cultism – a symbiosis of ideals expressed by commercial commensalism if you will. Apple capitalize on the Gaia group, primed, ready formed, and receptively hardwired to be ‘on message’ but above all, hungry to buy.
Smart illusive cookies these Apple folk.

clipe
Juan Slayton

cnxtim: Linux….
: > )

Our company runs apple phones. I will propose we switch vendors.

As expected, Fortune is deleting my comments at their site.

Monroe

That’s it!
I’m selling my Apple shares.
Both of them.

Truthseeker

I have been using Microsoft based products at work and Apple based products at home for a number of years now. I like both products sets for different reasons and I will continue to choose the approrpriate product for the relevant requirement.
Having said that, I think this statement by the CEO of Apple is just plain stupid. It is posturing of the worst kind because he cannot back up what he is saying with anything definitive. He cannot enforce this edict so all he is going to do is to alienate people. That is not a good idea for any company to do.
Companies should be responsible, not political.

u.k.(us)

Sell AAPL, they’ve jumped the shark.

Wondering Aloud

I will certainly be getting out and staying out of Apple Stock as long as this fool is in charge. Wouldn’t a better idea would be to fire him and get a CEO who has more contact with reality?

Larry Brown

As per Mr. Cook’s suggestion, I will divest myself of his stock as of tomorrow. How dumb can you be??

Jimbo

I won’t eat a rotten Apple. I will bite a Samsung Galaxy though. 🙂 I currently use an HTC and was looking for a new and better smartphone.

Pete

As one who is completely comfortable with life as a hated “DENIER”, nevertheless folks here at WUWT need to get a grip on the attitudes of a company that sees fit to have Algore on its Board.
It is what it is … Algore defines their social philosophies, and a tool for their protection from governments, including non-U.S. governments.
Whatever Apple spends on “sustainability” matters, it’s utterly, completely, and absolutely immaterial. I doubt very much they spend more than a couple million bucks a year, max, on such things.
Compare that with their finances …
Sales, Trailing 12 Months (TTM) – $175 Billion … with a “B”
Net Income, TTM – $37B
Free Cash Flow, TTM – $44B
Cash & short-term investments – 12/31/13 – $40.7B
Equity, 12/31/13 – $225B
Do I think Apple’s views and love for Algore and, apparently, AGW are whacky? You bet.
Do I think the shareholder group who challenged the CEO has a significant argument – basing it on the amount being spent by Apple with which they disagree – is whacky? You bet, because they’re talking about pocket change.
Given the ridiculous argument being made by the shareholder, what is surprising is that the CEO reportedly didn’t maintain his cool. There was nothing to get excited about, so why did he get excited?

I suspect the total costs associated with so-called green operating rules are non-trivial. Also, the question is religious: one might better demand a conservative Jew abandon Kosher beef for pork hot dogs with plenty of nitrates. Sure, the uncured beef may be healthier for trivial cost, but the issue isn’t really health or cost – it’s God’s will. In Cook’s case, the Cathedral has spoken, and all shall obey or be shunned.