Apple CEO Tim Cook

What you need to know

  • Apple CEO Tim Cook has an "unlikely" relationship with Trump.
  • Cook built a relationship with Trump and his family.
  • Apple informs the White House if it is going to be critical of policy.

When you run a company the size and wealth of Apple, making sure you keep presidents on-side is an important part of the job. The Wall Street Journal has a new report out which looks into how the relationship between Apple CEO Tim Cook and President Trump works.

Cook has been able to elicit praise from Trump while also being critical of policy, something that not many other business leaders have been able to pull off. The report looks into the "unlikely" relationship between the two.

The report does highlight that there were concerns within Apple that Trump would have an issue with the amount of business Apple does in China. Its products are largely made there, just like many technology companies.

The month after his election, Mr. Trump summoned Mr. Cook to meet in New York. Apple executives debated skipping the summit, worried Mr. Trump would air grievances about manufacturing and Apple's commitment to encrypted iPhones, according to a person familiar with the company. But people who knew Mr. Trump encouraged Mr. Cook to attend, this person said.

Mr. Cook spoke about Apple's manufacturing practices, drawing a contrast between smartphone production and automobile manufacturing, according to these people. Most of the value in the iPhone came from the design and engineering, he said, and the Chinese workers who did the assembly received low wages, so how could those jobs be good for U.S. workers?

Cook was subsequently cute enough to be able to build a relationship with Trump and his family in an attempt top ensure Apple's interests were served when possible. That also works both ways, with Cook and Apple sometimes alerting the White House before the company makes comments on policy that might be problematic to Trump.

The full report from the WSJ is well worth a read and includes plenty of information on Apple, its methods, and more. Be sure to check it out, especially if you ever wondered how huge companies deal with governments.

There's little doubt that Cook's manouverings will help Apple during this presidency. After all, that's what a CEO is there for.