Apple CEO Tim Cook met with Pope Francis today in the latest stop on his tour of Europe which has included a visit to Apple engineers in Munich and a look around Apple’s new London headquarters at Battersea Power Station.
The tech exec appeared on the pope’s daily audience list but details of the meeting were not disclosed. It’s the second time Pope Francis has held an audience with Cook after first meeting him in the Vatican in January 2016.
The pontiff has built a reputation for being sceptical of new technologies. In 2019 he told an audiene of young people: "Free yourself from the addiction to mobile phones…when you become a slave to your mobile phone, you lose your freedom." The Pope said he didn’t know how to use a computer when speaking on a Google Hangout meeting in 2015.
It comes after Cook’s calls for more women were derailed when a senior Apple exec quit the company after a video emerged of him boasting of “fondling big breasted women”
Tony Blevins, Apple’s vice president of procurement, appeared in a viral TikTok video sat in a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren supercar. When asked what he does for a living, he replied: “I have rich cars, play golf and fondle big breasted women, but I take weekends and holidays off.” The remarks racked up over 140,000 likes on TikTok videos and over 40,000 on Instagram.
The resignation came just days after Cook said there were “no good excuses” for the tech sector not to employ more women as he made a visit to London to visit the firm’s new headquarters at Battersea Power Station.
“I think the essence of technology and its effect on humanity depends upon women being at the table,” he told the BBC. “Technology’s a great thing that will accomplish many things, but unless you have diverse views at the table that are working on it, you don’t wind up with great solutions.”
Apple shares slid 5.6% last week, wiping over $100 billion from the market cap of the world’s biggest listed company after reports the tech firm intends to cut a planned expansion in production of its iPhone 14 model.
The reduction still means the firm will aim to produce 90 million handsets for the period, almost matching last year’s production and in line with the company’s original forecast earlier this year. It comes after the firm said it would move some of its production to India and away from China.