Apple board member Millard Drexler to retire in March, replacement unknown

Posted:
in AAPL Investors edited January 2015
Longtime Apple board member Millard "Mickey" Drexler announced intentions to retire at the end of his current term, which will end in March at the company's annual shareholders meeting, leaving seven candidates for election to fill his place.


Millard "Mickey" Drexler. | Source: Business of Fashion


Apple announced Drexler's retirement in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Thursday, noting the 70-year-old has served on the company's board of directors since 1999.

According to the document, Drexler informed Apple of his plans to retire on Jan. 16. The company's board has not yet decided on a suitable replacement to fill the vacancy.

Outside of Apple, Drexler is the CEO of fashion brand J. Crew, a position he took in 2003 after exiting the same role at Gap, Inc a year prior.

Drexler will remain active as a member of the compensation and nominating committees until taking his leave at the end of the current term, which is slated for March 10, 2015.

Today's news comes about six months after another long-standing Apple board member retired last year. Bill Campbell, Apple's longest serving director at the time, stepped down after 17 years of service and was replaced by BlackRock cofounder Susan Wagner in July.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    About time. Been on the Board way too long, and at this point, Apple could school him on retail rather than the other way around.

    It's time to appoint someone from abroad, a person who represents a huge current or potential foreign market. Someone from, say China, India, or Brazil.
  • Reply 2 of 27
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post



    About time. Been on the Board way too long, and at this point, Apple could school him on retail rather than the other way around.



    It's time to appoint someone from abroad, a person who represents a huge current or potential foreign market. Someone from, say China, India, or Brazil.



    Naah. I was thinking Eric Schmidt again. <img class=" src="http://forums-files.appleinsider.com/images/smilies//lol.gif" />

     

     

    Indra Nooyi comes to mind, but I don't know if she'd have time for that. Plus the history of bringing PepsiCo people to Apple is not a good one.

  • Reply 3 of 27
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    How about Elon Musk or John Legere?
  • Reply 4 of 27
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    How about Elon Musk or John Legere?



    Elon has too many ties to Google now, and I think it'd be seen as a conflict of interest to have a carrier CEO on the board of the world's most successful phone maker.

  • Reply 5 of 27

    Most companies no longer give gold watches at retirement but maybe this guy will get one.

  • Reply 6 of 27
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member

    Elon has too many ties to Google now, and I think it'd be seen as a conflict of interest to have a carrier CEO on the board of the world's most successful phone maker.

    You're probably right. But I hope the replacement isn't some boring Wall Street type or a politician. Go bold Tim.
  • Reply 7 of 27
    rogifan wrote: »
    How about Elon Musk or John Legere?

    Legere is potentially interesting, but a loose cannon. Musk has way too much on his hands. Moreover, his cars, from what I understand, are not iOS-friendly.
  • Reply 8 of 27
    rogifan wrote: »

    Go bold Tim.

    In the post-Sarbanes Oxley environment, it's not Tim's choice.

    It's the Board's call. In fact, Tim May have to recuse himself from the decision, since he should not be choosing one of his bosses.
  • Reply 9 of 27

    Look out or it might be Jimmy Iovine.

  • Reply 10 of 27
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    In the post-Sarbanes Oxley environment, it's not Tim's choice.

    It's the Board's call. In fact, Tim May have to recuse himself from the decision, since he should not be choosing one of his bosses.

    Okay then go bold board!
  • Reply 11 of 27
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,906member

    I'm available!

  • Reply 12 of 27
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,609member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Douglas Bailey View Post

     

    Most companies no longer give gold watches at retirement but maybe this guy will get one.




    He's not actually an Apple employee, he's an outside board member, a.k.a. independent director.

  • Reply 13 of 27
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mpantone View Post

     



    He's not actually an Apple employee, he's an outside board member, a.k.a. independent director.


     

    For sure. But I'm sure they'll still be thanking him for his service.

  • Reply 14 of 27
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,581moderator
    rogifan wrote: »
    How about Elon Musk or John Legere?

    They have a gender and race quota to fill. I'd guess more along the lines of:

    https://twitter.com/marlorencher

    Not necessarily her, but she has a PhD, is committed to diversity, is black, female, a company co-founder (more than 1 company) and works in tech so an example of a good candidate for improving diversity. They have 2 women out of 8 board members so it doesn't need to be another woman but they have no black board members. It could be Dr Dre. I would say it's unlikely to be another white male given how Tim reacted to the diversity report that said they had 30% female and 7% black employees at Apple.

    I'd still like Salma Hayek (Hispanic) but it makes sense to bring someone from the technology sector.

    Laurene Powell could be another option, she tends to be more involved in education but she has a large shareholding in Apple. It won't be listed under major individual shareholders as it will be under the Steve Jobs Trust but is around 38.5 million shares. I think it will be more important to have a black candidate than female though.
  • Reply 15 of 27
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,609member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Douglas Bailey View Post

     

    For sure. But I'm sure they'll still be thanking him for his service.




    They will likely make some token gesture. Remember that this isn't a lucrative position, although it is very prestigious. All of these board members have plenty of money; a modest stipend is provided, travel expenses are covered. 

     

    Some board directors refuse the stipend (Steve Jobs refused to be paid as a Disney director) and the bennies are frequently modest. I think Apple directors are given the choice of one free Apple product per year. 

     

    A $3000 watch might seem like a generous gift to most people, but it's a token gesture to these people who are probably paying that much in property taxes on their primary residence every month.

  • Reply 16 of 27
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,609member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post



    They have a gender and race quota to fill. I'd guess more along the lines of:



    https://twitter.com/marlorencher



    Not necessarily her, but she has a PhD, is committed to diversity, is black, female, a company co-founder (more than 1 company) and works in tech so an example of a good candidate for improving diversity. They have 2 women out of 8 board members so it doesn't need to be another woman but they have no black board members. It could be Dr Dre. I would say it's unlikely to be another white male given how Tim reacted to the diversity report that said they had 30% female and 7% black employees at Apple.



    I'd still like Salma Hayek (Hispanic) but it makes sense to bring someone from the technology sector.

    I don't think Apple is going to bring in an independent director that doesn't have strong business experience. After all, they are paying the board for long-term strategic guidance. 

     

    It might be good to have an international board member, someone like Alibaba's Jack Ma or Baidu's Robin Li. There's an Indian guy whose name escapes me right now who is Fortune 50 board grade. Microsoft has a former BMW guy on their board. Apple's board is rather small, and very USA-centric. I would like to see this change.

  • Reply 17 of 27
    What about that lady from IBM, their CEO. It might be an interesting partner to have considering Apple wants to get serious about enterprise.

    I also wouldn't be surprised if it were someone more involved in matters of government/lobbying. Apple could use an ally in that house.

    Ultimately though, for better or worse, I think Apple's choice will weigh the race and/or gender of the candidate. They don't want to be perceived as a bunch of old rich white dudes.
  • Reply 18 of 27
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member

    Millard is a great name.

  • Reply 19 of 27
    I'm available.
  • Reply 20 of 27
    mpantone wrote: »
     
    <span style="line-height:1.4em;">For sure. But I'm sure they'll still be thanking him for his service.</span>


    They will likely make some token gesture. Remember that this isn't a lucrative position, although it is very prestigious. All of these board members have plenty of money; a modest stipend is provided, travel expenses are covered. 

    Some board directors refuse the stipend (Steve Jobs refused to be paid as a Disney director) and the bennies are frequently modest. I think Apple directors are given the choice of one free Apple product per year. 

    A $3000 watch might seem like a generous gift to most people, but it's a token gesture to these people who are probably paying that much in property taxes on their primary residence every month.

    The bennies are by no means trivial. In large, publicly traded US companies, it can be anywhere from a few hundred thousand to a many hundred thousand dollars per year in cash and stock.
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