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Coming Out in Businessweek, Tim Cook Chooses to Play It Low-Key
By SP_COP on October 31, 2014 | From www.nytimes.com
Coming Out in Businessweek, Tim Cook Chooses to Play It Low-Key How exactly does the chief executive of the most valuable company in the world announce that he is proud to be gay?

Write a corporate blog post? Sit down for a TV interview? Invite tech journalists for a very special announcement?

Tim Cook, the chief executive of Apple, chose to write a sober, conscientious essay for Bloomberg Businessweek that invoked the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and used the word “privacy” again and again. The headline did not address the news head on — “Tim Cook Speaks Up.”

“The back story on it is pretty simple,” Businessweek’s editor, Josh Tyrangiel, said in an interview on Bloomberg TV. “He called and asked” if they could meet in California. Mr. Tyrangiel said that the essay, which appeared on the Businessweek website Thursday morning, was “not precipitated by any event, it’s not a reaction to anything,” but was something “he has been thinking about for a while.”

The headline on Bloomberg terminals, at 7 a.m. New York time, put the news directly: “APPLE CEO TIM COOK SAYS ‘I’M PROUD TO BE GAY.’ ”

Businessweek and Mr. Cook have forged what seems to be a close relationship. Mr. Cook was on the cover in September for an article about how he was putting his own stamp on Apple three years after its co-founder Steve Jobs’s death; the piece didn’t delve into Mr. Cook’s private life other than to say that he could become “quite emotional about a range of subjects close to his heart, from Auburn University football to social justice.” In addition to the September feature, the magazine ran a cover piece on Mr. Cook and Apple last year.

For the latest article, a Bloomberg spokeswoman said, Mr. Cook and Mr. Tyrangiel agreed that Mr. Cook should not be on the cover.

Businessweek’s relationship with Mr. Cook calls to mind the connection Time magazine had with Mr. Jobs, who appeared on numerous Time covers. Walter Isaacson, the former Time editor, went on to write a best-selling authorized biography of Mr. Jobs. (Mr. Tyrangiel worked at Time for 10 years before taking the top job at Businessweek.)

Mr. Cook’s low-key approach is different from the way leaders in other fields have announced they are gay. The N.B.A. player Jason Collins was on the cover of Sports Illustrated in May with the headline “The Gay Athlete.”

Ellen DeGeneres, who was among the first to use a magazine to announce that she was gay, was on Time’s cover in 1997 next to the words “Yep, I’m Gay.”

The “buttoned-up and business-focused” approach of Mr. Cook in a forum like Businessweek makes sense for what he is trying to achieve, said Brian Ellner, head of public affairs at the Edelman public relations firm who was senior strategist for the Human Rights Campaign’s successful effort to win marriage equality in New York in 2011....
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