Apple CEO Tim Cook sat down for an interview with CNBC’s Becky Quick at the Berkshire Hathaway shareholder conference this weekend. Cook shared his thought on Warren Buffett’s investments in Apple, the Cupertino firm’s company mission, internal debate topics, privacy, and more. The interview aired Monday morning on Squawk Box.
Cook commented that when he heard Warren Buffett had invested in Apple stock, he said his first thought was, “Wow, this is really cool.” An investment by Buffett is an “honor and a privilege,” Cook said. “I mean, wow, Warren Buffett is investing the company. And yeah, so, it felt great.”
Cook went on to say Buffets investment in Apple meant the investor viewed Apple as a consumer company, not a tech company, as Buffett doesn’t invest in tech companies he doesn’t understand.
Although Apple is a huge company, Cook says that in “some ways,” the company is “like a big startup.” Teams work together on projects and are “empowered to come up with new things.” Cook says Apple’s “heavy debate culture” means ideas are debated “And then we choose the best of the best to decide what to spend our time on.”
Cook cited the “healthy debate” about Apple entering the smart watch business as an example.
The subject of privacy came up, as it often does in discussions with Cook, with Cook saying privacy is “foundational” to the way that Apple runs, because Apple “works for the consumer.”
But we don’t want to use you as our product. And we just have a fundamental issue with doing that. And we’ve always thought that the building of a detailed profile about your life could result in tragic things. Whether it’s a breach of your own privacy or something where the data itself could be used in a nefarious way. And so, we’ve never thought it was right to do it, and we’ve always thought that you owned it.
“We don’t traffic in your data,” continued Cook. “We very much are on your side. We also curate our platform.”
The Tim Cook interview with CNBC can be seen in its entirety at the CNBC website.