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Apple Board of Directors at 'crossroads' after death of Steve Jobs

post #1 of 122
Thread Starter 
The passing of Steve Jobs has put a spotlight on Apple's board of directors, as onlookers wonder whether the company will expand and diversify the board to bring about a new era.

"Business as usual, or time for a change?" a new report from Reuters asked. Some now wonder if Apple will choose an independent chairman -- someone from outside of the company -- to head its board of directors.

The current board features former U.S. vice president Al Gore, Genentech Chairman Arthur D. Levinson, and Avon CEO Andrea Jung. Just seven people, including Apple CEO Tim Cook, serve on the board, a group that has been seen as a group that would advise Jobs as head of Apple, rather than oversee him.

But with Jobs gone and Cook now in charge, industry watchers have questioned whether Apple should expand its board and change its approach. Adding a strong chairman could create a "healthy tension" between that person and Cook, analyst Colin Gillis of BGC Partners reportedly said.

And Jim Post, professor of corporate governance at Boston University School of Management, told Reuters he believes Apple's board of directors needs to add people who weren't "living in Steve's shadow."

"The old message was 'trust Steve,' the new message has to be 'trust the team.' ... It's no longer the cult of personality," Post said.

After he resigned as CEO in August, Jobs remained as chairman of the board at Apple. That spot was vacated when he passed away at the age of 56 on Wednesday.



For years the Apple board has been scrutinized by some who feel that Jobs had too much sway over his "hand-picked" group of directors. But in late 2009, Apple did ease some of those concerns when Jung -- a company "outsider" -- was named co-lead director of the board.

The last change to the Apple Board of Directors came in November 2010, when Ronald D. Sugar was appointed. Sugar is the former chairman of the board and CEO of Northrop Grumman Corporation; he came to the board after Jerry York, former CEO of Harwinton Capital, passed away that March.
post #2 of 122
Thumbsucking.

I admit to being a Fanatical Moderate. I Disdain the Inane. Vyizderzominymororzizazizdenderizorziz?

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I admit to being a Fanatical Moderate. I Disdain the Inane. Vyizderzominymororzizazizdenderizorziz?

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post #3 of 122
I have no doubt that Apple could continue to do very well creating wonderful devices for a very long time. BUT... I am afraid that won't happen due to the greed and stupidity of the Apple Board of Directors. I expect infighting, etc. I hope this isn't true, but I truly don't expect Apple to be as great as it once was. Jobs was able to keep these people in line, but will the CEO be able to do the same thing?
post #4 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by lamewing View Post

"... due to the greed and stupidity of the Apple Board of Directors ..."

A pretty gross assertion on your part. Do you have any evidence to substantiate it?

Otherwise, that's thumbsucking on top of thumbsucking.

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post #5 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by lamewing View Post

Jobs was able to keep these people in line, but will the CEO be able to do the same thing?

The CEO serves at the pleasure of the Board of Directors. Not the other way around.

The CEO is just an employee. The Board represents the owners of the company - which is mostly Wall Street Types. Big Mutual Funds, Pension Plans, Hedge Funds, other gigantic corporations, etc. Those are the ones who get to say what happens, not some CEO.
post #6 of 122
"For years the Apple board has been scrutinized by some who feel that Jobs had too much sway over his "hand-picked" group of directors."

Boy... and did that ever hurt the company...
Hmmmmmm...
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Hmmmmmm...
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post #7 of 122
Most board of directors are useless, or worse, crooked. Cook keeps the trains running on time, but he needs to groom CTO that is creative, thinks out of the box and can implement the ideas. I just do not know how a mature company like Apple will be open to new "wild hair" talent.

If they get too stuffy, they will be like IBM.
post #8 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

The CEO serves at the pleasure of the Board of Directors. Not the other way around.

The CEO is just an employee. The Board represents the owners of the company - which is mostly Wall Street Types. Big Mutual Funds, Pension Plans, Hedge Funds, other gigantic corporations, etc. Those are the ones who get to say what happens, not some CEO.

Not really.

In practice, the board sets broad directions and the CEO is responsible to implement the broad directions of the board. If the Board is unhappy with the CEO, they can replace him, but that rarely happens when a company is doing well and following the broad guidelines of the board.

The board doesn't say what happens in any real sense any more than you get to say which route your mail takes when you mail a letter to Boston. You set the direction, the people you employ do the day to day stuff.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #9 of 122
This is the dumbest shit I've ever heard.

Apple is now the most valuable company in the world - but somehow the board needs to mix things up, and start playing a greater role in the running of the company?

A recipe for disaster.

Apple didn't get to where it is due to a meddling, over-involved BOD.

The Board needs to offer all it's support to Tim and his team, and then stand back and refrain from fucking things up.
post #10 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Not really.

In practice, the board sets broad directions and the CEO is responsible to implement the broad directions of the board. If the Board is unhappy with the CEO, they can replace him, but that rarely happens when a company is doing well and following the broad guidelines of the board.

The board doesn't say what happens in any real sense any more than you get to say which route your mail takes when you mail a letter to Boston. You set the direction, the people you employ do the day to day stuff.


Why do you open the post with contrariness, only to repeat the points previously made?


Never mind. Your motivations are both off-topic and not important.
post #11 of 122
Apple and knowing how Steve Jobs ran Apple as a CEO would have had a roadmap laid out for at least the next five years and was'nt going to leave anything to chance, not even with the board. He did'nt with his personal life or his private life, why would he do it with a company that he co-founded.

They know their roll and with Cook at the helm, both of them will follow the road map and not waver from it drastically.
post #12 of 122
For some reason, I knew this kind of story would crop up as soon Steve was gone. "Oh goodie no more Steve, now we can change around apple!" No, no and NO. Apple got to where it is today because what they're doing is WORKING. Changing around the board, moving people in and out, etc is the DUMBEST thing they could do... apple is kicking butt just as they are, and they have been even without Jobs at the head. To change it now just because Steve is gone does not make any sense at all.

Too many people want to play armchair CEO and decide how apple "should" work... do you think apple got the largest market cap in tech by listing to all these people? NO.

The funny thing is I think Steve knew this kind of thing would happen, which is why he set up the Apple University. Some may say it's his ego. I think it's just smart– Jobs had a way of doing apple that revolutionized the business, and it's definitely a strategy I think apple should keep in the days ahead.
post #13 of 122
Somehow "Business as usual" doesn't seem like a bad thing given the value of Apple and their products are top of the line. Apple will be fine in the short term but if you start bringing in "outsiders" that don't understand the business and start running it like every other corporation then that's what you'll end up with. The longterm future of Apple died last Wednesday.
post #14 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

The CEO serves at the pleasure of the Board of Directors. Not the other way around.

The CEO is just an employee. The Board represents the owners of the company - which is mostly Wall Street Types. Big Mutual Funds, Pension Plans, Hedge Funds, other gigantic corporations, etc. Those are the ones who get to say what happens, not some CEO.

Would that that were actually the case.

JRagosta is absolutely spot on when he says the BOD set the general direction of the company, and that no doubt is in concert with what the officers of the company suggest (so in Apples recent case, given Jobs' excellent track record strategically, I'm sure the BOD pretty much rubber stamped what he said).

I actually think it's not just Apple who should be wondering the direction for their board, but most companies. Boards of Directors are supposed to look after the broad interests of the shareholders, and I think they should also be looking out for the long term health of the company. It seems to me that in a lot of companies, the board are actually too close to the executives, and become a rubber stamp, that can be incredibly successful with a leader as impressive as Jobs, but not so good when combined with the likes of Carly Fiorina, who was allowed to cause damage to HP for far too long.

I've never been able to decide whether or not I like the CEO being actually a member of the board, much less the Chairman. I think if the CEO has too much sway over the board, both in terms of setting the discussions, and appointing the board, it gives one person (the CEO) too much power. Again, with someone as gifted as Steve Jobs that's OK, but there seems to be far more CEO's who are average than they are Jobs.....
post #15 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by keyboard View Post

This is the dumbest shit I've ever heard.

Apple is now the most valuable company in the world - but somehow the board needs to mix things up, and start playing a greater role in the running of the company?

A recipe for disaster.

Apple didn't get to where it is due to a meddling, over-involved BOD.

The Board needs to offer all it's support to Tim and his team, and then stand back and refrain from fucking things up.

No, Apple got to where it is due to a staggeringly gifted CEO. We don't know if they have that now (they have a staggeringly gifted operations guy who is the CEO, but that doesn't mean he'll be an incredible CEO). I hope they do, but Apple would be foolish to not at least ask the question of how they best optimize themselves post Jobs.

That said, I suspect Steve Jobs gave pretty clear guidance as to what he thought should be done.
post #16 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

The CEO serves at the pleasure of the Board of Directors. Not the other way around.

That's only true if the board is given that power. Jobs set up this board so that they were advisers, not controllers, in many respects. One of the things he may have kept in the CEO's power was all design and manufacture issues. Even the power to turn that over to the board could be in the CEO's hands. It's all in the bylaws and contracts

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #17 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by keyboard View Post

Apple didn't get to where it is due to a meddling, over-involved BOD.

You want to get all Many-Worlds Theory about it, they really did. Had the original board not outed Jobs, he would have stuck around and would never have bought Pixar, started NeXT, come back (because he was already there), created Mac OS X, or anything else post-Second Hiring.

But, uh… yeah, they don't need to do anything like that again; you're right.
post #18 of 122
Things are going so terribly wrong with the way Apple has been running things the last few years so it must be time for extreme change!
post #19 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by enjourni View Post

Too many people want to play armchair CEO and decide how apple "should" work...


The owners of Apple, the Hedge Funds and Pension Plans, will decide how Apple WILL work. They will do it by appointing a BOD.

Apple is a huge corporation, and it exists to generate profits. It is not a shrine. It is not a club. It is not a lifestyle or a fashion statement.

The big moneyed Wall Street interests can and will decide the direction that their investment will take. Its nothing different than, say, Dow Chemical or Exxon Mobil. The people who play armchair CEO are ignored. Corp[orations obey the Golden Rule: Them that got the gold make the rules.
post #20 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by enjourni View Post

For some reason, I knew this kind of story would crop up as soon Steve was gone. "Oh goodie no more Steve, now we can change around apple!" No, no and NO.

I wouldn't be too worried. This is a bunch of ANALysts and 'experts' talking out of their butts about what they would do. But remember they also said Apple would have to license OS X and iOS or go bankrupt because folks wouldn't buy Apple designed hardware etc.

Apple does what Apple wants, it's the way Steve trained them. Maybe in a few years they will change that if they feel it isn't working. But right now it is and no one there would did Steve by changing a working game before the body/ashes are cold and buried

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #21 of 122
The board and the shareholders are Apple's single worst enemy now.

Maybe it's time to use all that cash to take Apple private.
post #22 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

Boards of Directors are supposed to look after the broad interests of the shareholders, and I think they should also be looking out for the long term health of the company.

If and to the extent that the long-term health of the company is in opposition to the interests of the shareholders, then the long-term health of the company should be ignored.

For example, with some companies, it is best for the owners to liquidate and sell all the pieces to the highest bidders. In such cases, the long-term health of the company is not important.

Companies like Apple exist to generate shareholder value. If a Board member has deviant goals, that is a huge problem.
post #23 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

The owners of Apple, the Hedge Funds and Pension Plans, will decide how Apple WILL work. They will do it by appointing a BOD.

They will try. But like all the groups wanting this or that from Apple, it will take a shareholder vote. And do you really think that they can find enough support for the PR nightmare of voting no confidence in Steve's board and Steve's chosen successor. Maybe if they bomb this iPhone release and the next iPad. But right now, likely not

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #24 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by lamewing View Post

I have no doubt that Apple could continue to do very well creating wonderful devices for a very long time. BUT... I am afraid that won't happen due to the greed and stupidity of the Apple Board of Directors. I expect infighting, etc. I hope this isn't true, but I truly don't expect Apple to be as great as it once was. Jobs was able to keep these people in line, but will the CEO be able to do the same thing?

Jobs created an Apple culture which will guide the leaders of the company and it's products for a long time.

Instead of spewing your greed and stupidity crap here, you should grab a sign with a real dumb slogan and go join the Occupiers.

I will think differently about Apple's direction when Algore is gone from the board.
post #25 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by keyboard View Post

This is the dumbest shit I've ever heard.

Apple is now the most valuable company in the world - but somehow the board needs to mix things up, and start playing a greater role in the running of the company?

A recipe for disaster.

Apple didn't get to where it is due to a meddling, over-involved BOD.

The Board needs to offer all it's support to Tim and his team, and then stand back and refrain from fucking things up.

Agreed
post #26 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

If and to the extent that the long-term health of the company is in opposition to the interests of the shareholders, then the long-term health of the company should be ignored.

Yes, you make a very good point, but I think there is a lot of grey area here. How you define the interests of the shareholders is the question.
post #27 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by poke View Post

The board and the shareholders are Apple's single worst enemy now.

Maybe it's time to use all that cash to take Apple private.

All this FUD. What are you trying to do? Depress the stock price so you can short it?

Really, nobody has any idea what the board has been like and what they will be like in the future. These and other analysts had absolutely no say in how Apple was run when Steve was there, and they have no say now. Making suggestions or offering advice means squat to Tim and the board. They'll run it they way they see fit, period.
post #28 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by enjourni View Post

For some reason, I knew this kind of story would crop up as soon Steve was gone. "Oh goodie no more Steve, now we can change around apple!" No, no and NO. Apple got to where it is today because what they're doing is WORKING. Changing around the board, moving people in and out, etc is the DUMBEST thing they could do... apple is kicking butt just as they are, and they have been even without Jobs at the head. To change it now just because Steve is gone does not make any sense at all.

Too many people want to play armchair CEO and decide how apple "should" work... do you think apple got the largest market cap in tech by listing to all these people? NO.

The funny thing is I think Steve knew this kind of thing would happen, which is why he set up the Apple University. Some may say it's his ego. I think it's just smart Jobs had a way of doing apple that revolutionized the business, and it's definitely a strategy I think apple should keep in the days ahead.

+100! Couldn't have said it better myself; and yes I am a shareholder with a substantial amount riding on this BOD doing the right thing: GET. THE. F***. OUTTA. THE. WAY!!!!
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post #29 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

That's only true if the board is given that power.

Interesting. Name a few giant megacorporations like Apple where the BOD has no legal power to replace the CEO.
post #30 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Interesting. Name a few giant megacorporations like Apple where the BOD has no power to replace the CEO.

The last company I worked for is a $15bn corporation, and while the BOD clearly have the power to replace the CEO, the question is why don't they. He has been a disaster for the company and they are massively underperforming the sector since he took over.

I think the reason for that is that he is also the Chairman of the Board, and in that role appointed a lot of the board, who are pretty much his buddies.

The Boards of Lehman Brothers had the responsibility to over see and the power to replace Richard Fuld, but they chose not to.......

The question isn't whether boards have the power, the question is what they do with it.
post #31 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by poke View Post

The board and the shareholders are Apple's single worst enemy now.

Maybe it's time to use all that cash to take Apple private.

Ummm......."all that cash" belongs to the shareholders.

Who would the owners of the company be in your scenario?
post #32 of 122
you know what else large boards are famous for? an utter lack of vision and overindulgence in short-term profits uber alles. fsck. that. noise.
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post #33 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by keyboard View Post

This is the dumbest shit I've ever heard.

Apple is now the most valuable company in the world - but somehow the board needs to mix things up, and start playing a greater role in the running of the company?

A recipe for disaster.

Apple didn't get to where it is due to a meddling, over-involved BOD.

The Board needs to offer all it's support to Tim and his team, and then stand back and refrain from fucking things up.

Agreed.

Sounds like a cheap click-bait piece by Reuters.
post #34 of 122
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post #35 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

They will try. But like all the groups wanting this or that from Apple, it will take a shareholder vote. And do you really think that they can find enough support for the PR nightmare of voting no confidence in Steve's board and Steve's chosen successor. Maybe if they bomb this iPhone release and the next iPad. But right now, likely not

The shareholders appointed the current BOD. I have little reason to expect any radical changes in the short run, either to the BOD or the officers.
post #36 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by keyboard View Post

This is the dumbest shit I've ever heard.

Apple is now the most valuable company in the world - but somehow the board needs to mix things up, and start playing a greater role in the running of the company?


I know! OMG in heaven, the urge to do something to fuck up the company has started early and I'm very worried.
post #37 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

Yes, you make a very good point, but I think there is a lot of grey area here. How you define the interests of the shareholders is the question.

How I define that is unimportant.

How the shareholders define it is all that matters. They own the damn thing, not you or me.
post #38 of 122
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post #39 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

How I define that is unimportant.

You're allowed an opinion though you know. Freedom of speech and all that.

I'm allowed an opinion too.
post #40 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

Yes, you make a very good point, but I think there is a lot of grey area here. How you define the interests of the shareholders is the question.

No grey area at all: maximize shareholder wealth.

Also, it's pretty much the law in the US, starting in 1919 (see http://www.casebriefs.com/blog/law/c...ord-motor-co/; subsequently codified in ALI Principles, see, e.g., http://heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handl...ction=journals.)
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