Apple CEO Tim Cook is the fourth person on Time‘s list of “The 100 Most Influential People,” a self-referential grouping of important figures from technology, music, politics, and our global culture.
Cook’s short essay focuses on his business acumen as well as his socially responsible world-view.
“It could not have been easy for Tim Cook to step into the immense shadow cast by the late Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs,” writes Congressman John Lewis for Time. “But with grace and courage and an unabashed willingness to be his own man, Tim has pushed Apple to unimaginable profitability—and greater social responsibility.”
Lewis is the only surviving member of the “Big Six,” the group of influential civil rights leaders in the 1960s, which included the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. He was with Dr. King in Selma, Alabama, and is now Senior Chief Deputy Whip for the Democratic party in the U.S. House of Representatives.
In fact, the entire list is written by individuals as influential as their subjects: Elon Musk on Kanye, Jack Nicholson on Lorne Michaels, Jony Ive on Airbnb’s Brian Chesky.
Lewis says that through Cook, Apple sets the standard for the positive power of business, citing Cook’s unwavering support for people’s right to privacy as well as advocacy for equality, LGBT rights, and renewable energy both through his words and his actions.
“Above all,” writes Lewis, “he has shown that profitability and integrity can go hand in hand. Tim has done this while introducing, time and again, some of the most innovative products the world has ever seen. Tim Cook is proof that even the most successful companies can and should be judged by more than just their bottom line.”