Apple CEO Tim Cook has sent a company-wide email condemning the actions of an Apple Store employee in Australia who booted a group of teenagers from the store in Melbourne earlier this week.
In a memo entitled “Apple is open,” Cook underlined the firm’s core values following the incident, which saw video of black youngsters asked to leave because a security guard thought “they might steal something” spread across the web.
Earlier this week, the store manager and Apple itself had issued an apology to the students in question, and now Cook has intervened to remind Apple employees of their responsibilities.
The boss said the incident “does not represent our values” and added people from “all walks of life” were welcome at the company’s retail outlets.
Cook wrote (via Buzzfeed): “Inclusion and diversity are among Apple's core values. We believe in equality for everyone, regardless of race, age, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation.
“That applies throughout our company, around the world with no exceptions. We've looked into the details of the situation and we apologize to the customers involved. We will continue to do everything in our power to ensure all our customers are treated the way they should be."
The incident is an embarrassment for Cook who has made increased diversity at Apple a key focus of his tenure as CEO.
Cook has pledged to increase the number of women and minorities working at Apple, while campaigning for equality for LGBT communities around the world.
The CEO has now ordered retraining of all Apple Store employees following the incident, saying “store leadership teams around the world, starting in Australia, will be refreshing their training on inclusion and customer engagement.”
You can see video of the incident in the video below.