- Apple CEO Tim Cook and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella were spotted having dinner at the same table as the far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.
- Cook and Nadella were attending the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting, which is taking place in Davos, Switzerland, this week.
- The dinner was held Tuesday night in Bolsonaro’s honour, and it was attended by politicians and business leaders.
- Bolsonaro has a history of making misogynistic, homophobic, and racist remarks, making it an awkward look for the two Silicon Valley luminaries.
Apple CEO Tim Cook and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella were spotted having dinner at Davos with Jair Bolsonaro, the far-right populist Brazilian president.
The two executives were attending a dinner at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting, where the world’s elite gather each year in Davos, Switzerland. The dinner was held at the Morosani Hotel in honour of Bolsonaro – who took office in January – and was attended by other business leaders and politicians.
The Axios reporter Felix Salmon tweeted a photo of Cook and Nadella seated at Bolsonaro’s table. Bolsonaro appeared at the center of the photo, wearing a blue tie. Nadella was leaning over, speaking with a woman who appeared to be Queen Mathilde of Belgium.
Tim Cook and Satya Nadella having dinner in Davos with Jair Bolsonaro, the far-right president of Brazil pic.twitter.com/wQgn9b7SuO
— Felix Salmon (@felixsalmon) January 23, 2019
It’s unlikely that Bolsonaro would have been either Nadella’s or Cook’s dining partner of choice.
The president, formerly an army captain, has caused outrage in his country and abroad for prejudiced remarks about women, minorities, and LGBT people. The tide of populism that saw him elected president has been compared to US President Donald Trump’s election in 2016.
In an interview in 2011, Bolsonaro said he would rather have a son die in an accident than turn out to be gay. “I would not be able to love a homosexual son,” he said. Cook is gay.
And in April, while he was running for president, Bolsonaro was charged with inciting hatred against minorities, women, and gays. He has also faced legal scrutiny for once telling a female lawmaker that she was too ugly to rape.
Bolsonaro said in tweet, per Twitter’s translation: “We have just attended dinner with great business leaders and heads of state at the invitation of the president of the World Economic Forum, Professor Schwab. A tremendous satisfaction sharing this moment and sharing experiences.”
Há pouco participamos de jantar com grandes líderes empresariais e chefes de estado a convite do Presidente do Fórum Econômico Mundial, Professor Schwab. Uma enorme satisfação partilhar este momento e dividir experiências!
— Jair M. Bolsonaro (@jairbolsonaro) January 22, 2019
It wouldn’t be the first time Cook and Nadella have been positioned to court a controversial leader. The pair met with Trump soon after his election in 2016, along with other high-profile execs such as Alphabet CEO Larry Page and Facebook’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg.
Microsoft and Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.