On a “Squawk on the Street” segment Friday, co-anchor Simon Hobbs accidently “outed” Apple CEO Tim Cook. Hobbs was talking to New York Times journalist Jim Stewart when he said, “I think Tim Cook is fairly open about the fact that he’s gay at the head of Apple, isn’t he?”
Forbes reports on the Hobbs’ outing Cook on CNBC. Stewart was on “Squawk” to discuss a new book titled “The Glass Closet: Why Coming Out Is Good Business,” by the former CEO of BP, Lord John Brown.
According to Forbes, Cook has never discussed his sexuality publicly, although Out Magazine named him the most powerful LGBT person in 2013 and he gave a speech to the United Nations on gay rights and discrimination. On Twitter, Cook supported President Barack Obama’s decision to ban federal discrimination against gay employees.
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) June 17, 2014
USA Today reports Hobbs followed his question to Stewart with, “Oh dear, was that an error?” Stewart did not confirm Cook’s sexuality and, according to Forbes, replied, “I don’t want to comment on anybody who might or might not be. I’m not going to out anybody. I called a lot of people and no one at any major company would allowed their names to be used.”
There has been a good deal of speculation over Cook’s sexuality, as noted by Re/code, including a Gawker article published in 2011 entitled, “Tim Cook: Apple's New CEO and the Most Powerful Gay Man in America.” Neither CNBC nor Hobbs have commented on Friday's "Squawk on the Street" segment.