Cupertino, CA —
With Steve Jobs' shocking resignation on Wednesday, Apple COO Tim Cook takes over the reigns at Apple to become the world's most powerful gay man.
Cook, who has remained private about his sexuality, was outed as gay in January by Gawker when the tech blog named him as "the most powerful gay man in Silicon Valley."
In May, the 50-year-old engineer was ranked number one in Out magazine's Power 50 index, the list of the most influential members of the LGBT community. Cook bested last year's winner, Ellen DeGeneres, who remained on the list at number 2.
Cook grew up in Robertsdale, Alabama. He has worked at IBM and Compaq before joining Apple in 1998. He has been running the company since Jobs took a medical leave.
If Cook comes out publicly, he would be the most powerful openly gay executive in the technology industry. He would be trailed by Microsoft's openly lesbian HR chief Lisa Brummel and Google's VP of new business development Megan Smith.
Gay rights activists hope Cook will become a role model for LGBT people in corporate America.