Russia removes Steve Jobs memorial after Tim Cook public essay

In a direct response to Tim Cook’s public essay laying out his sexual orientation and his reasons for speaking out, Russian media is reporting that a St. Petersburg monument to Steve Jobs has been taken down.

The monument, with an interactive screen displaying information about Jobs, was reportedly put up on the grounds of an IT university in January 2013 on the initiative of a Russian company called Western European Financial Union.

Russian Radio station Biznes-FM cited the company’s chief, Maksim Dolgopolov, as saying he had it removed in part to comply with a law banning the spread of “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations” among minors.


After Cook came out as gay in an essay published on October 30, prominent St. Petersburg antigay activist Vitaly Milonov was quoted as saying Cook should be banned from Russia because he could bring AIDS, Ebola, or gonorrhea into the country.

The mind boggles.

On the rational side of the spectrum, there’s this op-ed piece from the New York Times:

As Lloyd Blankfein, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs, put it, “He’s chief executive of the Fortune One. Something has consequences because of who does it, and this is Tim Cook and Apple. This will resonate powerfully.”

Trevor Burgess, the openly gay chief executive of C1 Financial in Florida, and one of the first publicly gay chief executives of a public company, said Tim Cook used “the metaphor of laying a brick on the ‘path towards justice.’ ” But, “This is more like 600 million bricks,” Mr. Burgess said. “He has the most influential voice in global business.”

Indeed he does.