Apple has been a trendsetter for years now. In fact, you might say their current mission is simply to change the world one user at a time. But, apparently, CEO Tim Cook doesn’t want to wait that long. Ronn Torossian explains.
About a year ago, Cook ripped into a climate-change heckler at Apple’s annual shareholder meeting. After delivering an entirely unscripted response to the heckler, Cook finished with this gem: “If you only care about profits get out of the stock.”
After that salvo, everyone began to wonder what Cook would say or do next. Turns out, he was serious. Recently, it was announced that Cook has agreed to purchase solar power from First Solar, a massive United States based solar farm. According to Cook, at $850 million, this may be one of the “biggest, boldest and most ambitious projects ever.”
Just how big? Well, early reports state that the deal will provide Apple with enough power to keep all of its California stores going. All. Of. Them. As well as its offices, headquarters and data center. The deal nearly triples Apple’s stake in solar energy, a massive gambit and distinct green line in the sand for the company.
From a public relations perspective, the deal may just make Cook the face of corporate response to climate change. How could it not? He’s the CEO of the world’s largest company, and he just signed this massive, nearly unprecedented deal. Cook has also gone on record stating that “we know” climate change is real, and “the time for talk has passed, and the time for action is now.”
Cook said he wanted his actions to speak for him, and to inspire other CEOs to explore how solar power could benefit both their companies and the environment. He even challenged companies such as Google, Microsoft and Amazon — long supporters of wind power — to get on the solar bandwagon, calling it the energy of the future.
One thing is certain; Apple’s legions of dedicated fans are liable to greet this news with feverish glee. They are always looking for another reason to love the company, and Cook has tossed them a softball right over the plate. The thing about Cook, though, is you get the feeling a PR strategy was the farthest thing from his mind. And that authenticity makes his brand even more attractive.