Although Apple’s Tim Cook and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos both attended the tech-world meeting in New York with the then-president elect, the influential chief executive officers are not becoming comfortable bedfellows with the new administration.
In letters sent to employees this week, both offered a firm stance on the executive order restricting immigration from Muslim-majority countries.
On Monday, Bezos followed up to a message sent to all employees from Amazon vice president of human resources Beth Galetti that recommended that employees from banned countries refrain from travel.
“This executive order is one we do not support,” Bezos wrote. “We’re a nation of immigrants whose diverse backgrounds, ideas and points of view have helped us build and invent as a nation for over 240 years. No nation is better at harnessing the energies and talents of immigrants. It’s a distinctive competitive advantage for our country — one we should not weaken.”
He promised that any employees affected by the order would have the “full extent of Amazon’s resources” behind them.
He said Amazon’s public policy team had reached out to senior administration officials, in addition to “congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle” to make the company’s opposition clear.
On Saturday, Cook sent an internal letter, which was obtained by WWD, to all employees stating that the policy was one that Apple did not support. “In my conversations with officials here in Washington this week, I’ve made it clear that Apple believes deeply in the importance of immigration — both to our company and to our nation’s future. Apple would not exist without immigration, let alone thrive and innovate the way we do,” the Apple ceo wrote. He said that he had heard from many who were “deeply concerned” and that he shared their concerns.
Like Bezos, he said Apple would do everything it could to support the employees affected by the order, and that Apple had “reached out to the White House” to explain the negative effect this had on the employees and the company.
“As I’ve said many times, diversity makes our team stronger. And if there’s one thing I know about the people at Apple, it’s the depth of our empathy and support for one another.”
He ended the letter by quoting Martin Luther King Jr.: “We may have all come on different ships, but we are in the same boat now.”