CNBC’s awkward moment about Apple’s Tim Cook

Things got terribly awkward Friday during a segment of CNBC’s “Squawk On The Street’’ show when anchor Simon Hobbs abruptly brought up the matter of Tim Cook’s sexual preference.

During a discussion about the lack of publicly gay CEOs with New York Times columnist Jim Stewart, who wrote a column about the issue for Saturday’s paper and who  is openly gay himself, Hobbs blurted out:

 “I think Tim Cook is fairly open about the fact that he is gay at the head of Apple, isn’t he?”

Silence fell on the set for what seemed like an eternity, but was only four seconds, as host and guests tried to regain their composure.

After Hobbs’ interjection about Cook, and that deafening silence, it was Stewart’s turn to set his host straight, so to speak:

“Mmmmmmm, no,” he said, shaking his head back and forth.

“Ohhhhh dear,” said Hobbs. “Was that an error?”

“Wow!” said CNBC reporter David Faber. “I think you just… yeah.”


Hobbs quickly backtracked, adding, “I thought he was open about it.”


Again, Stewart spoke up:

“I don’t want to comment about anybody who might or might not be. I’m not going to out anybody.”


Who knows if Cook was actually outed or not. The CEO has never spoken directly about his sexual orientation, although he has talked about LGBT rights in a human-rights context. Actually, Cook plays it pretty close to the vest on most personal matters when speaking publicly, which he doesn’t do often.


Neither CNBC nor Apple immediately responded for a comment about the story.

Credit: CNBC


Share this Post

  • I thought it was pretty common knowledge…when he took over for Steve Jobs, it was written about in many of the articles that I remember reading.

    • tdinovi

      Speculation only. Outing is bullying. Cook obviously wants the focus on his running Apple, not his private life.

  • Makikiguy

    Really slow news day????????????

  • alrui

    Lets get real people – who cares & thus why do we have to constantly talk about “gayness”? Do we constantly talk about whos straight? NO we dont so enough of this in your face crap already!!!