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Wednesday, 16 November 2011 13:26

Apple Promotes Levinson; Adds Disney’s Iger to Board Featured

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Apple named Arthur D. Levinson, Ph. D. as its non-executive chairman of the board. Apple also announced that Robert Iger, President and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, will join the board and serve on the audit committee.

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.

Read 4286 times Last modified on Thursday, 02 July 2020 15:05
Dora Vell

Dora Vell is the Managing Partner of Vell Executive Search, a boutique executive search firm in Boston focused on recruiting technology executives and board members. Vell has successfully completed numerous board member and C-level executive searches, including CEOs, COOs, CIOs, and Vice Presidents - at both public and private companies.

Prior to founding the firm in 2005, Vell was a Partner at Heidrick & Struggles' Technology practice for seven years.  Before her career in executive search, she worked at IBM for 11 years, managing software engineering organizations of 100 people and software sales organizations with revenues of $150 million. She has also served as an executive assistant to the CEO of IBM Canada for one year.

Vell holds seven worldwide software patents. She has published several Business of Leadership reports on governance and leadership and has been quoted in numerous articles including The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Business Week, Fortune, Agenda Week, MSNBC, Mass High Tech, the OPUS for the World Economic Forum, Boston Business Journal, The Globe & Mail, CIO Magazine, and IEEE. She also has been a featured speaker on leadership at numerous conferences and at Columbia University's MBA program.

Vell is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), the Boston CEO Roundtable. She has served on the boards of Framingham State, Entrepreneur's Organization, Goodwill, Mary Centre for developmentally handicapped adults,, and RBC Capital Partners.

She has received an MBA from the University of Toronto, a Master in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo, and a Bachelor in Computer Science from Carleton. She has also completed the MIT Entrepreneurial Master’s program.

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