These are two strong moves. Despite the passing of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, the company’s board strategy is elegant and functional, a best of breed and minimalist -- just like Apple products.
Apple has always had the best of the best. When Jerry York, the IBM CFO and financial guy extraordinaire, passed away -- and when Google Chairman Eric Schmidt departed -- Apple didn’t just replace them with anyone. Apple was methodical putting superstars on its board that add value.
Levinson makes perfect sense as the non-executive chairman because he knows the board as well as Apple CEO Tim Cook and has experience on all board committees, as well as other boards. The chairman of Genentech and a member of the Roche board of directors, Levinson has been the company’s longest serving co-lead director. He joined Genentech as a research scientist in 1980 and served as Genentech’s CEO from 1995 to 2009. Levinson’s age is also perfect. At 61 years old, Levinson still has the energy to help steer the company and carries the operational experience required for the job.
Cook said the board expects Iger to make an “extraordinary addition” to an already strong board. Iger built on Disney’s history of unforgettable storytelling, with the acquisition of Pixar in 2006 and Marvel in 2009. Jobs, who founded Pixar, sat on Disney’s board. Iger has helped to make Disney an industry leader at the forefront of offering its creative content across new and multiple platforms
By bringing Iger on board, Apple is becoming more of a media company. Disney is the gold standard for media. Apple also has Intuit’s CEO on its board, the gold standard for SMB and software, J. Crew’s CEO for a retail background and Ron Sugar with a strong financial background. This is a strong board.