Wall Street Journal Profiles Apple's Board of Directors

215136 apple logo

The Wall Street Journal publishes a profile (subscription required) of Apple's Board of Directors, focusing on the lack of independent executives on the board in the wake of Jerry York's death last week. The report notes that Apple CEO Steve Jobs holds a remarkable amount of sway over both the company operations in general and specifically the Board of Directors that is supposed to help guide the company, a situation that many investors have seen as undesirable.

Investors have long urged Apple's directors to be more independent of the company's powerful CEO, even as Apple has continued posting strong financial results. An independent board represents the interests of shareholders and can challenge the CEO when necessary, said David Nadler, a corporate governance expert and senior partner at consultants Oliver Wyman Group.

Mr. York's successor should be somebody "with sufficient stature and importance to take the CEO on," said Roderick Hills, a former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman, who has led a dozen audit committees.

York joined Apple's Board of Directors in 1997 when Steve Jobs took on the "interim" CEO title after the ousting of Gil Amelio in a boardroom coup. Jobs blamed much of Apple's troubles on the existing board and demanded that the majority of them resign, allowing new directors such as York to come on board to help achieve Jobs' vision.

Today's report notes that Apple's directors have rarely challenged Jobs in boardroom meetings, even when many of them disagreed with his handling of his medical leave of absence for a liver transplant during the first half of 2009. York was reportedly "disgusted" that Jobs failed to reveal his medical issues in Apple's announcement that Jobs would not present at its final Macworld Expo keynote in January 2009, with York even contemplating stepping down from Apple's board over the incident.

Looking forward, it seems likely that Apple will seek to add at least one more member to its Board of Directors, as the current count of six members is now among the smallest of Fortune 500 companies following York's death and the resignation of Google CEO Eric Schmidt in August 2009. Apple, however, has made no public signs that it has begun the process of searching for new members for its Board.

Popular Stories

iOS 16

iOS 16.3 Now Available for Your iPhone With These 4 New Features

Friday February 3, 2023 1:13 pm PST by
Apple released iOS 16.3 in late January following nearly six weeks of beta testing. The software update is available for the iPhone 8 and newer, and while it is a relatively minor update, it still includes a handful of new features, changes, and bug fixes. Below, we've recapped new features in iOS 16.3, including support for physical security keys as a two-factor authentication option for...
HomePod 2 White and Midnight Feature Purple Blue

Apple Explains Why HomePod Was Released Again, Wi-Fi 4 Limitation, and More

Thursday February 2, 2023 7:57 am PST by
Apple's VP of hardware engineering Matthew Costello and product marketing employee Alice Chan recently spoke with Men's Journal and TechCrunch about the new second-generation HomePod in wide-ranging interviews about the smart speaker. Apple discontinued the original full-size HomePod in March 2021 after multiple reports indicated that sales of the speaker were lackluster, but Chan told Men's ...
Apple Silicon Teal Feature

The Next Big Apple Silicon Device May Not Be a Mac or iPad

Wednesday February 1, 2023 3:57 am PST by
Apple's next device with an Apple silicon chip may not be a Mac or an iPad, but rather an advanced external display, according to recent reports. The display, which is rumored to arrive this year, is expected to sit somewhere between the $1,599 Studio Display and the $4,999 Pro Display XDR – but more exact information about the device's positioning and price point is as yet unknown. While ...
iOS 16

Apple Preparing iOS 16.3.1 Update for iPhone as Wait for iOS 16.4 Beta Continues

Thursday February 2, 2023 6:41 am PST by
Apple appears to be preparing an iOS 16.3.1 update for the iPhone, based on evidence of the software in our website's analytics logs this week. It's unclear when the update will be released, but it will likely be available at some point in February. The same logs have accurately foreshadowed the release of several previous updates, including iOS 16.0.3 and iOS 16.1.1 most recently, so they...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

Five New iOS Features Coming to Your iPhone Later This Year

Tuesday January 31, 2023 11:58 am PST by
Apple has previously announced several upcoming iOS features that are expected to be added to the iPhone this year. Some of the features could be introduced with iOS 16.4, which should enter beta testing soon, while others will arrive later in the year. Below, we have recapped five new iOS features that are expected to launch in 2023, such as an Apple Pay Later financing option for purchases ...
Apple Pay Later Quick Green Feature

Apple Pay Later Launching 'Soon'

Thursday February 2, 2023 2:10 pm PST by
The Apple Pay Later service that Apple has in the works is set to launch "soon," Apple CEO Tim Cook told CNBC ahead of today's earnings call for the first fiscal quarter of 2023. Cook said that Apple employees are beta testing the Apple Pay Later feature, which will help Apple boost services revenue. "It will be launching soon," Cook said. Apple Pay Later was first previewed at the...
webkit vs chromium feature

Google Working on Browser for iOS That Would Break Apple's App Store Rules

Saturday February 4, 2023 1:30 am PST by
Google's Chromium developers are working on an experimental web browser for iOS that would break Apple's browser engine restrictions, The Register reports. The experimental browser, which is being actively pursued by developers, uses Google's Blink engine. Yet if Google attempted to release it on the App Store, it would not pass Apple's App Review process. Apple's App Store rules dictate...