CNBC co-anchor Simon Hobbs was discussing the issues facing gay CEOs with New York Times columnist James Stewart Friday when he accidentally outed Apple CEO Tim Cook.
Stewart recently wrote a piece on former BP CEO John Browne and the pressures he faced as a gay executive. During the segment on Squawk On the Street, Stewart said he was surprised that Browne was the first Fortune 500 CEO to come out as gay.
"There are gay CEOs in major companies, and I reached out to many of them," said Stewart. "I got an extremely cool reception, not one would allow to be named at all."
"I think Tim Cook is open about the fact he's gay at the head of Apple, isn't he?" asked Hobbs.
"Hmm. No," responded Stewart.
Silence immediately fell over over the news desk and Hobbs seemed to realize he made a mistake in bringing up the Apple executive's sexual orientation.
"I don't want to comment about anybody who might or might not be -- I'm not going to out anybody and I called a lot of people and no one at any major company would allow their names to be used," clarified Stewart.
Cook has been an outspoken LGBT rights advocate and was named on Out's 2013 power list, but he has refrained from commenting on his sexual orientation publicly.
I applaud @WhiteHouse decision to ban #LGBT discrimination at fed contractors. House must act on #ENDA. A matter of basic human dignity.— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) June 17, 2014
Neither CNBC nor Apple have commented on the incident.
Original headline: CNBC host accidentally outs Apple CEO Tim Cook live on air
Most Popular Stories
- Prosecutor to Investigate Walmart Police Shooting
- GM to Announce New Jobs in Tennessee
- Mark Sanchez Suddenly a Hot QB Commodity
- Smith & Wesson Misses Target
- Emirates Hit Libyan Targets With Airstrikes
- Michael Brown Funeral: Can Americans Change the Script of Violence?
- Marco Rubio Warns Obama on Deportations
- American Killed With ISIS Fighters in Syria
- Surf's Up! SoCal Prepares for Big Storm Surf
- Ford Hires 300 at Louisville Lincoln Plant