Now that Steve Jobs is gone, attention turns to Apple’s Board of Directors (1), a group that’s been criticized in the past for being too deferential to Jobs, as made clear in this Wall Street Journal Story.
Steve Jobs was a business genius, but are these directors good at doing their jobs to inform shareholders and stand up to a strong CEO if necessary, or are they the kind that like to take a fee and then not do as much directing as they should? Remember, many great and famous people were on the Board of Enron. They sat on the board during that company’s Apple phase of being among the world’s growth leaders, but also during its implosion.
What boards do Apple’s directors sit on in addition to Apple’s? Are they as hands-off with those other companies as they are reportedly were with Jobs? Are they too distracted by their primary distinguished careers to do a hands-on job at Apple? These are questions worth asking if you’re thinking of putting them on your board, or if you’ve invested in a company they direct that isn’t blessed with a CEO of Jobs-like vision.
(1) Apple’s independent directors are:
William V. Campbell is the Chairman of Intuit, Millard Drexler, Chairman and CEO of J. Crew; Al Gore, former U.S. Vice President; Andrea Jung, CEO of Avon Products; Arthur Levinson, former chairman and CEO of Genentech; Ronald D. Sugar, former chairman and CEO of Northrop Grumman.