Exclusive: CEO Reveals Why Apple Broke Ties With Trump
PHOTO: Alex Zozaya, CEO of Apple Leisure Group. (Photo courtesy Apple Leisure Group)
After cutting all business ties with the Trump organization, Alex Zozaya, CEO of Apple Leisure Group, said breaking off business relations with Trump Enterprises after Donald Trump's derogatory statements about Mexicans was “just natural.”
In fact, he said, “We were a little bit slow in making the decision.”
Apple Leisure Group, which claims to be the largest Mexico vacation package for the U.S., announced on Tuesday that its vacation package brands Apple Vacations and Travel Impressions would no longer include Trump properties in their portfolios of hotels and resorts.
The decision was “not political,” said Zozaya. “This is just a business decision because certainly these open remarks are really upsetting a lot of people. And we won’t support them and we will do anything in our power to support the feeling of our own people and our partners and friends. That’s the approach we’re taking.”
The move followed an announcement a few days previously that it would move its annual Golden Apple Awards Ceremony from the Trump Tower in Chicago.
“It’s almost unethical and immoral for us to do business with him at this point,” said Zozaya.
The decision was not the result of pressure from anyone, either in the Mexican government, among Apple’s business partnerships, or from travel agent partners in the U.S., Zozaya said.
“But we all did share the bad taste in our mouth regarding Mr. Trump’s remarks,” said Zozaya.
It was not the first time Zozaya had heard Trump make racist comments about Mexicans, but the comments during Trump’s highly public presidential kick-off speech were too much to stand still for.
Apple’s action was a reaction to “dangerous comments that generate even more polarization and hatred in this country, which is the least thing we need,” said Zozaya. “So we can’t support someone like that. And we obviously should do anything that we can do. This is one of the little things we can do.”
It was not an action against Trump, said Zozaya, but something “we can do for ourselves, to be congruent with our principles and consistent with our business partners. That involves the Mexican government, the Mexican people, the Mexican banks, the Mexican entrepreneurs and businessmen, and our labor force in Mexico. Just in Mexico we have more than 10,000 employees.”
Apple’s business with Trump is “not a big piece of the business for him,” said Zozaya.
“And it’s also not a huge piece of the business for us,” he said. “But even if it was, we wouldn’t change our minds based on the size of the business we do with him, or whether we would be losing money by making the decision. That’s not what is going to drive this type of decision. This decision is just driven by principle. And that’s why it can’t go wrong.”
“I think there is merit in anyone who takes a stand against this type of prejudiced and racist positions,” he said.
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