Bill Campbell Reflects on 17 Years on Apple's Board of Directors

Alongside his resignation from Apple's board of directors after 17 years of service, Intuit chairman Bill Campbell spoke with Fortune about his time with the company, sharing some insights about the company he first became associated with over 30 years ago as a marketing executive.

bill_campbell_celebrating_steve

Bill Campbell at Apple's "Celebrating Steve" event relating the story of Steve Jobs trying out Siri

Among the topics touched on by Campbell was the conflict he faced while serving on Apple's board while also assisting Google's then-CEO Eric Schmidt, a situation not always embraced by longtime friend Steve Jobs.

“Steve would say, ‘If you’re helping them you’re hurting me.’ He would yell at me,” recalls Campbell, whose normal banter typically needs to be sanitized for most publications. “ I’d say, ‘I can’t do HTML, come on. I’m just coaching them on how to run their company better.’” He continued in both roles for years.

Long seen as "Steve's guy" on the Apple board, Campbell also had praise for Tim Cook, who has been officially at the helm of Apple for nearly three years now.

“Apple is an institution now,” he said. “Tim’s done an amazing job of building bench strength within the organization. There’s a whole set of new and smart people who are taking over. You’re watching that company grow up.” [...]

“Tim is a calm, thoughtful guy,” he said. “He studies things and thinks about them, makes a decision, and moves on.”

Highlighting his feelings on Cook, Campbell notes that Cook has thoughtfully offered to make a contribution in Campbell's honor to recognize his service to Apple. That unspecified contribution will involve Campbell's home town in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
82 months ago
I have been Apple's shareholder for well over 10 years. One thing I always voted against, was keeping Bill Campbell on the board. Intuit has consistently and intentionally produced inferior applications for Mac, starting with perhaps their biggest insult, Quicken for Mac.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
82 months ago

"Apple is an institution now," he said. "Tim's done an amazing job of building bench strength within the organization. There's a whole set of new and smart people who are taking over. You're watching that company grow up." [...]

I like hearing this. Tim's the guy to lead a grown up Apple. Steve knew that, hence why he recommended the board put Tim in charge.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
82 months ago
Campbell's company sure showed Apple a lot of love. How he remained so close to Steve is a mystery to me.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
82 months ago
I always found it quite ironic how the Intuit chairman was on our board - yet their offerings for Mac OS (classic and X) have always been complete garbage compared to the windows versions.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
82 months ago

What does he mean by "Apple is an institution now"?

Apple has been an institution for some time, no?


I would say he's pretty spot on. You have to remember Apple's ascendance to the top of the heap is a relatively new occurence. Only a decade ago Apple's net revenue was only $8 billion. 5 years ago it was $36.5 billion. Apple didn't cross that magical $100 billion in net revenue until 2011.

Just an aside: To go from $8 billion in 2004 to $170 billion in 2013 is abso-f'n-lutely Chris Bridges.

I think that's what he meant by "now".
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
82 months ago
Quicken

My biggest gripe with Bill Campbell is that for almost a decade now he has allowed Intuit/Quicken for the Mac to languish with problems of incompatibility with OSX (Lion, I believe), iOS, lack of support, lack of improvements and sheer and utter lack of responsiveness.

Quicken was a piece of software that was an early hit with the Mac Community -- nothing else including the Intuit-owned Mint (anybody heard anything about that lately?) has even come close to taking Quicken's place.

Mr. Campbell ought to give the software to Apple and let it get the development it's due. Now that it's APPLE/IBM such an action might be worthy.

It always has bothered me that Campbell's Intuit just ignored the Mac audience that helped building the company and has continued to adapt, improve and support the Windows world.

I, for one, think a not so very good friend has left the building and his exit need not be bemoaned.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

New Photos Offer Better Look at iPhone 12 Color Options

Tuesday October 20, 2020 2:34 am PDT by
As we wait for the iPhone 12 review embargo to lift later today, more pictures are circulating of the devices in real-world lighting conditions, providing a better look at the different colors available. Leaker DuanRui has shared images on Twitter of the iPhone 12 in white, black, blue, green, and (PRODUCT)RED. The black and white colors are similar to the iPhone 11 colors, but the other...

iPhone 12 Pro in Graphite and iPhone 12 in Blue Shown Off in Unboxing Videos

Monday October 19, 2020 8:20 am PDT by
While the iPhone 12 Pro does not launch until Friday, we now have an early unboxing video of the device courtesy of Twitter account DuanRui, providing a closer look at the shiny new flat-edge design and sleek Graphite color option. Ben Geskin re-uploaded the unboxing video to YouTube, which we've embedded below: Geskin has also uploaded an unboxing video of the iPhone 12 in Blue: ...

Apple Releases iPadOS and iOS 14.1 With Multiple Bug Fixes Ahead of iPhone 12 Launch

Tuesday October 20, 2020 10:06 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 14.1, the first major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 14 operating system updates that were released in September. iOS and iPadOS 14.1 come a week after Apple released the golden master versions of the updates to developers. The iOS 14.1 update can be downloaded for free and it is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access...

Watch: iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Unboxing Videos and First Impressions

Tuesday October 20, 2020 6:05 am PDT by
Apple's embargo has lifted for iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro reviews. In addition to our detailed review roundups for each device, we've rounded up over a dozen unboxing videos and first impressions below. iPhone 12 in Blue on left and iPhone 12 Pro in Pacific Blue on right via Engadget Key new features of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro include a flat-edge design, 5G support, a much faster A14 ...

Gold Version of iPhone 12 Pro Apparently Has a More Fingerprint Resistant Stainless Steel Frame

Tuesday October 20, 2020 11:56 am PDT by
iPhone 12 Pro reviews hit the web today, and one of the more interesting tidbits came from TechCrunch's Matthew Panzarino, who revealed that the Gold version of the device apparently has a more fingerprint resistant coating applied to the stainless steel frame. From his review:Most of the iPhone 12 Pro finishes still use a physical vapor deposition process for edge coating. But the new gold...

Photographer Austin Mann Tests the iPhone 12 Pro's Camera

Wednesday October 21, 2020 4:14 am PDT by
Travel photographer Austin Mann usually performs an in-depth review of new iPhone models to test their camera performance in real-world scenarios. To test Apple's new iPhone 12 Pro, Mann traveled to Glacier National Park, Montana. Mann focused on some of the biggest camera upgrades with the iPhone 12 Pro, including the upgraded Wide lens, Ultra Wide Night mode, and LiDAR autofocus, across a...

iPhone 12 Pro Max Has Smaller 3,687 mAh Battery According to Regulatory Filing

Tuesday October 20, 2020 8:48 pm PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 Pro Max is equipped with a 3,687 mAh battery, which is around 7% less capacity than the 3,969 mAh battery in the iPhone 11 Pro Max, according to a regulatory filing published by TENAA, the Chinese equivalent of the FCC. The regulatory filing, spotted by MacRumors, also lists the iPhone 12 Pro Max with 6GB of RAM as seen in benchmark results last week. Apple has filed ...

5G Drains iPhone 12 Battery 20% Faster Than 4G in Benchmark

Wednesday October 21, 2020 3:17 am PDT by
After the first reviews for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro emerged yesterday, a new report by Tom's Guide reveals the extent of battery life reductions when using 5G. The report outlines a test wherein the iPhone surfs the web continuously at 150 nits of screen brightness, launching a new site every 30 seconds until the battery drains. Interestingly, the test was run on an iPhone 12 and...

Hands-On With Apple's iPhone 12 and 12 Pro MagSafe Cases

Tuesday October 20, 2020 1:33 pm PDT by
Apple's iPhone 12 and 12 Pro are launching this Friday, and ahead of that release date, Apple is shipping out various accessories like the MagSafe charger and MagSafe cases. Yesterday we took a look at the MagSafe charger, and today our MagSafe case came in the mail, so we thought we'd take another look at the charger to see how it works with the case and just how strong the case magnets are. S ...

Reliable Leaker Suggests AirTags 'Coming Soon' in Two Different Sizes

Tuesday October 20, 2020 1:53 am PDT by
Apple's rumored AirTags Bluetooth tracking devices could launch imminently and will be available in two size options, based on new tweets from cryptic-but-reliable leaker L0vetodream. In typical enigmatic style, the leaker first tweeted this morning that a "big one" and a "small one" are "coming soon," but withheld what they were referring to. However that was followed an hour later with the ...