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Apple Picks New Chairman, Adds a Board Member

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Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) kicked off phase two of its post-Steve Jobs era today, naming Arthur D. Levinson as the company's new Chairman of the Board.

Levinson has been a co-lead director of Apple's board since 2005, has served on all three board committees — audit and finance, nominating and corporate governance, and compensation—and will continue to serve on the audit committee.

Levinson has been on the Board for ten years. He takes over for Steve Jobs, who died of cancer earlier this fall. Jobs had been Apple's CEO until his cancer struck, at which point he relinquished those duties to Tim Cook, Apple's current CEO. Jobs then took over the Board until his death.

“Art has made enormous contributions to Apple since he joined the board in 2000,” said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. “He has been our longest serving co-lead director, and his insight and leadership are incredibly valuable to Apple, our employees and our shareholders.”

“I am honored to be named chairman of Apple's board and welcome Bob to our team,” said Art Levinson. “Apple is always focused on out-innovating itself through the delivery of truly innovative products that simplify and improve our lives, and that is something I am very proud to be a part of.”

Apple also announced that Robert A. Iger, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company, will join Apple's board and will serve on the audit committee. Iger's role at Disney could bring some interesting synergy to the forefront for Apple, particularly around digital media content. Might there be a new marriage in the making, between Disney content and Apple distribution? JObs had already served on Disney's board. This move completes the circle.

Reading between the lines, it looks like a solid maybe.

“I am honored to be named chairman of Apple's board and welcome Bob to our team,” said Art Levinson. “Apple is always focused on out-innovating itself through the delivery of truly innovative products that simplify and improve our lives, and that is something I am very proud to be a part of.”

“Apple has achieved unprecedented success by consistently creating high quality, truly innovative products, and I am extremely pleased to join the board of such a wonderful company,” said Bob Iger. “Over the years, I have come to know and admire the management team, now ably led by Tim Cook, and I am confident they have the leadership and vision to ensure Apple's continued momentum and success.”

Levinson is chairman of Genentech, Inc. and a member of the Roche Board of Directors. He joined Genentech as a research scientist in 1980, and served as Genentech's Chief Executive Officer from 1995 to 2009. He is also a director of Amyris, NGM Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Levinson currently serves on the Board of Scientific Consultants of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the Advisory Council for the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics.

He has authored or co-authored more than 80 scientific articles and has been a named inventor on 11 United States patents. In 2008, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Levinson received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Washington and earned a doctorate in Biochemical Sciences from Princeton University.

Iger is the steward of the world's largest media company and some of the most respected and beloved brands around the globe. He has built on Disney's rich history of unforgettable storytelling, with the acquisition of Pixar (2006) and Marvel (2009), two of the entertainment industry's greatest storytellers.

Always one to embrace new technology, Iger has made Disney an industry leader at the forefront of offering its creative content across new and multiple platforms. It is this characteristic that makes me wonder if Apple and Disney will find some way to work together in the near future.

Iger is also a member of the board of directors for the National September 11 Memorial & Museum and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc. He became a board member of the US-China Business Council in June 2011.

In June 2010, President Barack Obama appointed him to the President's Export Council, which advises the president on how to promote US exports, jobs and growth. He is also a member of the Partnership for a New American Economy, a coalition of mayors and business leaders from across the United States that support comprehensive immigration reform. Iger is a graduate of Ithaca College.

 

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