Letter to a CEO #1

Today I wrote a letter I have been meaning to write for a while. 
 
Tim Cook, CEO

Apple

1 Infinite Loop
Cupertino, CA 95014

29 January, 2012

Dear Mr. Cook:

No doubt you had a worse day than I did last Friday. The New York Times piece about working conditions in the Chinese factories Apple uses was damning, to say the least.  My 8th grader’s missing Spanish assignment pales in comparison.

I am an Apple customer. Between my husband and three children and me, we have an iPad, two iPad 2s, six iPhones, three MacBook Airs, an Apple TV and a 27” iMac.

Since your background is in operations, you may not yet be known as an innovator. You have a unique leadership opportunity to set the example for your entire industry to build devices without polluting and to employ workers humanely, by insisting on safe working conditions.  The energy your company spends to defend itself against critics of these practices could be invested in vigorously pursuing what you know is just. Your legacy could be leading the way for your entire industry to build better, cleaner machines which do not just reflect your design specifications, but your values.  Be the innovator who raises the bar for sourcing ethics.

I do not exaggerate to say that as loyal customers we would gladly pay more for products made by workers who do not require suicide nets to keep them from flinging themselves from the windows. Better still, bring the manufacturing of Apple products back to the United States, as President Obama asked in his State of the Union address last week.

Sincerely yours,

Maggie Russell Berkes

P.O. Box XXX

North Salem, NY 10560

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