Fortune today published an interview Adam Lashinsky held with Apple CEO Tim Cook earlier this year. Their conversation centers on Apple’s attempts at societal contribution, covering topics like health, education, the environment, and more.
In the area of health, Cook acknowledged that while many of the company’s health initiatives are not directly profitable in any way, he does understand that from a financial standpoint health care is a key area for Apple to invest in. And they are investing. He says:
There’s much more in the health area. There’s a lot of stuff that I can’t tell you about that we’re working on, some of which it’s clear there’s a commercial business there. And some of it it’s clear there’s not. And some of it it‘s not clear. I do think it’s a big area for Apple’s future.
One other interesting piece from the interview surrounds Apple’s lack of interest in setting up a company foundation, breaking from the pattern of many other large corporations. Cook explained his reasoning:
When a company sets up a foundation, there is a risk, in my judgment, of the foundation becoming this other thing that is not connected to the company. It has a separate board of directors. They make reasonably independent decisions sometimes. It becomes a separate thing. I don’t want that for Apple. I want everybody involved…If we had a foundation, my fear was it becomes something that 10 or 12 or 20 or 50 people do. And all of a sudden for the 120,000, it’s just this separate thing out there. People work here to change the world. So I think that should be integral to what the company does. Not peripheral in a foundation.
It’s possible we’ll see announcements related to Apple’s work in the areas of health and the environment at its September 12 keynote event, with the former tied to Apple Watch announcements and the latter to the creation of Apple Park, where the event will be held.