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Apple Board of Directors at 'crossroads' after death of Steve Jobs - Page 2

post #41 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post


The question isn't whether boards have the power, the question is what they do with it.


Well, yeah, that is A question. But it is not the question which was raised by the statement I was responding to.
post #42 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

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.)

Maximize shareholder wealth to me suggests a staggering amount of grey area. I don't have time to read the URL you posted at the moment (though I will - thanks for adding it), but maximizing shareholder wealth needs to be defined over what timeframe.

It's a piece of cake to maximize shareholder wealth over one quarter, even if it damages subsequent quarters, and I think an awful lot of businesses do that at the moment. The great companies (and I'm thinking Apple here) see the bigger picture and their shareholders make way more in the long term.
post #43 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

Maximize shareholder wealth to me suggests a staggering amount of grey area. I don't have time to read the URL you posted at the moment (though I will - thanks for adding it), but maximizing shareholder wealth needs to be defined over what timeframe.

It's a piece of cake to maximize shareholder wealth over one quarter, even if it damages subsequent quarters, and I think an awful lot of businesses do that at the moment. The great companies (and I'm thinking Apple here) see the bigger picture and their shareholders make way more in the long term.

You're right, the point about "over what horizon" -- over the short run or the long run -- is a hugely important and non-trivial one. Under the assumption of markets being efficient, the distinction disappears. But as we all know, there are limitations to that assumption.

Indeed, US corporate law has grappled with this issue over dozens of cases over the past 90 years. Happy to give you a couple of fabulous cites that trace the history of this, if you PM me.
post #44 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Psych_guy View Post

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.

Historically it's true. As somebody else said, shareholders have little long-term interest in companies. I'm sure Apple will be fine for some time to come, but if they're not, it'll almost certainly be something the board does in the interest of major shareholders looking for short-term profit.
post #45 of 122
What will be interesting to see if they appoint Tim Cook as the Chairman of the Board or not. Many CEOs hold both titles. Bringing in someone new could really create issues down the road.
post #46 of 122
i think apple will be OK

using their products i'm sure the development cycle is to list a bunch of features that people want. prioritize them and ship each version with the most important features
post #47 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.

Absolutely agree! The system at Apple works. As long as it continues to work, and continues to respond to changes in the market with effective strategies and actions, no one needs to change how the board works. It's bad enough that a new board chairman will need to be chosen. (Tim Cook is not the logical choice as he has yet to earn that status.) Whoever is chosen to replace Jobs needs to be highly qualified as visionary in their own right yet not have the ego that normally goes with that.

The real risk is that Apple changes in the way other, formerly well run companies have, by taking a well run and successful business model and losing sight of what mad them successful by tweaking it.

If it ain't broke, they don't need to fix it.
post #48 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

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

Who would the owners of the company be in your scenario?

Cash can be used to buy back shares. The company would belong to whoever puts up the rest of the money. In this scenario it'd be a group of private investors interested in technology and the long-term prospects of the company. It's not really a realistic scenario because of the amount of money involved, but I can dream.
post #49 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

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

I'm allowed an opinion too.

It depends on lots of factors. If, for example, there is a spike in commodities prices, then the shareholders may want to get all the resource out of the mine IMMEDIATELY, even if it will reduce some small chance of greater long-term profits.

OTOH, if a start-up fails to get as much money in the door as quickly as possible, they might lose market cap and become a takeover target for bottom feeders to break up, losing the HUGE potential that might have been right around the corner.

Making blanket statements about what other people should do with their companies is not something I am intertested in doing. Apple's owners, who are Hedge Funds and other big money Wall Street types will decide how best to proceed. They might want to keep up the growth company model, they might want to start paying dividends or initiate a stock buy-back, they might want to diversify into areas other than mass-market consumer products.

If I were the owner of Apple, and I just lost my most talented employee, I would look for advice from seasoned businessmen. I would start with the current BOD, see what they had to say, and would make decisions based upon their advice and the advice of other trusted advisors.

But it is not important what I would do with OPM.
post #50 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

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

Who would the owners of the company be in your scenario?

The cash does not belong to the shareholders. That's a common myth that should be dispelled. Shareholders own shares in the company, not its assets. There's a difference - a huge one.

It is possible that shareholders have certain rights with respect to the assets of a corporation. But what those rights are depend on the SHA and on agreements in place with other stakeholders (shareholders are not the only stakeholders). Generally speaking, that only becomes an issue in case of liquidation. Even then, what the shareholders get varies greatly from company to company.
post #51 of 122
Anyhow, if you think I'm selling my AAPL shares right now you've got another thing coming.
post #52 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by poke View Post

Cash can be used to buy back shares. The company would belong to whoever puts up the rest of the money. In this scenario it'd be a group of private investors interested in technology and the long-term prospects of the company. It's not really a realistic scenario because of the amount of money involved, but I can dream.

Please do not use cash to buy back shares. Please.

It is one of the most shortsighted but unfortunately common corporate tactics.
post #53 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.


Absolutely true. Theoretical, textbook definitions of CEO/Board relationships are just that - theoretical. What goes on behind closed doors, is how a company really works for good or for bad.
post #54 of 122
Somehow, I think Apple already knows who their next chair is.

My bet is that they will reinstate Bill Campbell.

Panic is unwarranted. Relax, fanboyz.
post #55 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.

Couldn't agree more.

Welcome to the world of Board members paying themselves millions for eating $16 cupcakes, and the complete bullshit that is Wall Street.
post #56 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

The cash does not belong to the shareholders. That's a common myth that should be dispelled. Shareholders own shares in the company, not its assets. There's a difference - a huge one.

It is possible that shareholders have certain rights with respect to the assets of a corporation. But what those rights are depend on the SHA and on agreements in place with other stakeholders (shareholders are not the only stakeholders). Generally speaking, that only becomes an issue in case of liquidation. Even then, what the shareholders get varies greatly from company to company.

Yes. I stand corrected.
post #57 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Yes. I stand corrected.

Cool. That's gracious of you. Last time I made this point here on Appleinsider, I was lambasted by someone who refused to believe, accept, agree, admit ...

Cool.
post #58 of 122
This has been one of the best threads in ages. Some different opinions expressed, for the most part in very good spirit - I've learnt a lot. Thanks everyone!
post #59 of 122
Diversify in terms of replacing the global warming farce snake oil salesman Al Gore?!
post #60 of 122
What better young visionary is out there who could continue the innovation that Steve Jobs has started?

I think Mr. Z should be a member of the board of directors and be given an opportunity to Chair one day. He is brilliant and tenacious and creative and ruthless and innovative and........
post #61 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibitzer View Post

Thumbsucking.

It's disney all over again. Damn. Hopefully this is just crazy media speculation, but a power grab for the worlds largest company is totally understandable. It needs to come from within the company and/or current board. Jobs knew what he was doing and if he wanted someone from outside of the company, he would have had that person already sitting in that seat. Apple doesn't need some outsider schmuck coming in and turning the company into HP.
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post #62 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

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.

I can't agree more with your statement that Steve Jobs was a "staggeringly gifted CEO. Let me add a few thoughts about Tim Cook, Apple's new CEO and the role of the Board of Directors.

Before Steve left a 2nd time all too suddenly, first time ostracized by Apple's board in 1985, he made sure this time to develop and build an organization and ecosystem so Apple could prosper for perhaps decades without his personal guidance. However, great companies do even better when its employees are inspired, often doing much more than they ever realized they could, through the persuasion of inspiring, highly-respected leaders. No doubt that Steve Jobs' genius and persuasive manner not only held sway over the legions of ready and willing buyers all over the world, but with Apple employees and the Board of Directors as well.

Now, Tim Cook is the new person in charge and has earned his promotion to CEO by convincingly proven over a number of years he can effectively manage complex operations and logistics of a large and wonderfully successful company.

But is Tim Cook also a leader to inspire and persuade his team and Apple's 50,000 employees to do great things as Steve has done? Time will tell but probably not to the same extend Steve did. So I feel there is now a void left by the creative genius and inspirational leadership of Steve Jobs that the Board of Directors needs NOW to pay very close attention to in filling. How will Apple best fill the tremendous void Steve leaves behind? The board needs to insure the new CEO has a convincing plan in place. That plan if executed properly, must continue to inspire Apple employees and management to do great work and continue rolling out brilliantly creative products without Steve's very close guidance that has so abruptly ended.
post #63 of 122
Steve understood one thing: Companies need to be more product-centric and less shareholder-centric. What I mean by that is that great products sell and sales means better shareholder return. Too many companies are focused on shareholder value or whatever and dismiss the product. This same type of leadership is what turned Ford Motor Company around. Alan Mulally changed the focus of the company on how to make cars cheaper and more competitive to how to produce better cars that the consumers want to buy. That's exactly what Jobs did. He produced products that people were willing to stand in line to purchase. Apple couldn't help but succeed. If only more companies had this type of leadership...

That's what Apple needs to continue. I'm not up on Tim Cook, but he seems to be less charismatic than Steve. That's okay, as long as the product is there. We'll see. I hope he doesn't end up more like Sculley and screw things up.
post #64 of 122
So don't try and fix it. It remains very unclear as to exactly the Job's and Board relationship. Job's views carried a lot of weight, but these are strong smart people in their own right. In sense they have also been training for this job and I suspect planning as well.
post #65 of 122
In 1986, the board thought they knew better than Steve how to run Apple. They canned him because he was, in their opinion, out of control. When they got Steve came after acquiring NeXT, Steve was 10 years smarter and look what he did in that time: He made Apple profitable, gave them focus, and turned them into an influence on the world.

Hopefully, the board has learned something from Steve in the 15 years he has been running Apple. Companies run by committee can fail because no one has the vision it takes to move forward. Steve had focus. Can any committee have focus?

If Steve Jobs truly was Apple, then Apple is doomed. If Apple the company has learned how to be more like Steve, then it should be ok.
post #66 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

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

Who would the owners of the company be in your scenario?

The cash would, in that hypothetical scenario, return to the majority of the shareholders. Companies by back stock all the time... just not all of it, usually. If they did, likely a few of the larger shareholders would retain their shares and represent the new owners, and the stock would no longer be traded publicly.

But Apple doesn't have enough cash to do that.
post #67 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by izacmann View Post

What better young visionary is out there who could continue the innovation that Steve Jobs has started?

How about this guy?

http://finance.yahoo.com/career-work...thrown-ive-wsj
post #68 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruel24 View Post

How about this guy?

http://finance.yahoo.com/career-work...thrown-ive-wsj

i said young haha
but yeah, he is the man. but i am talking bigger picture. entertainment in the home. in the office. in the air. in the water. in death. in life.
post #69 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post

In 1986, the board thought they knew better than Steve how to run Apple. They canned him because he was, in their opinion, out of control. When they got Steve came after acquiring NeXT, Steve was 10 years smarter and look what he did in that time: He made Apple profitable, gave them focus, and turned them into an influence on the world.

Other than the very earliest beginnings before incorporation, Steve didn't actually run Apple until Apple bought NeXT. Steve never was CEO until the acquisition. Was he influential? You bet. The original Mac was one of his pet projects.
post #70 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by izacmann View Post

What better young visionary is out there who could continue the innovation that Steve Jobs has started?

I think Mr. Z should be a member of the board of directors and be given an opportunity to Chair one day. He is brilliant and tenacious and creative and ruthless and innovative and........


Perhaps the worst idea I've heard yet. Zuckerberg understands nothing about Apple culture.

There is a reason Steve and him had one meeting, and one meeting only. He's a prick, and Steve knew it.
post #71 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcode View Post

Perhaps the worst idea I've heard yet. Zuckerberg understands nothing about Apple culture.

There is a reason Steve and him had one meeting, and one meeting only. He's a prick, and Steve knew it.

haha agreed! I presumed the poster was being sarcastic
post #72 of 122
I think that Mike Markkula would be an excellent choice as Chairman Of The Board!

Edit: Don't know the details, but I would think that Steve's estate/survivors will have quite a bit of influence in Apple's future.
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post #73 of 122
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post #74 of 122
....he's completely useless and detracts from the Apple brand. Why this idiot was elected to the board is beyond me. You can count this as one of Steve Jobs' failures.
post #75 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?

In all fairness, this ridiculous idea is not actually being floated by the Apple board.

The article is based on some unknown idiot at Reuters (and Jim Post), traipsing out the generic business "wisdom" on the subject.

It's clearly a colossally bad idea and there is no evidence Apple is thinking of doing this at all. This is just more dumbass advice from the cheap seats.
post #76 of 122
Put Wozniak on the board.
post #77 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by X38 View Post

Put Wozniak on the board.

Woz hates bureaucracy, business, and suits.

Woz is an engineer and always will be. Would he be good as a consultant to a modern Apple's R&D department? Who knows. He's still on the payroll, so he could probably help out if he thought it'd be fun.

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post #78 of 122
I say bring the Woz
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post #79 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcode View Post

Perhaps the worst idea I've heard yet. Zuckerberg understands nothing about Apple culture.

There is a reason Steve and him had one meeting, and one meeting only. He's a prick, and Steve knew it.

If Zuckerberg could do it he'd dismantle Apple just out of spite.
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post #80 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post

The cash would, in that hypothetical scenario, return to the majority of the shareholders. Companies by back stock all the time... just not all of it, usually. If they did, likely a few of the larger shareholders would retain their shares and represent the new owners, and the stock would no longer be traded publicly.

But Apple doesn't have enough cash to do that.

In no scenario would the cash "return" to the minority or majority of shareholders. The cash cannot "return" to someone who never owned it in the first place.

Buying back stock is not the same as returning cash. Not close.
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