Apple Board Gains Finance Pro Susan Wagner, as Bill Campbell Retires
Apple's board of directors is saying good-bye to longtime adviser Bill Campbell and hello to BlackRock co-founder Susan Wagner and her M&A experience.Bill Campbell, Apple's longest-serving board member, hand-picked for the task by Steve Jobs 17 years ago, is retiring, Apple announced July 17. Susan Wagner, a founding partner and director of asset-management firm BlackRock, has been elected to the board. Apple CEO Tim Cook called Campbell's contributions to Apple "immeasurable," and in a statement thanked him for being "a leader, a mentor and a friend." "When Bill joined Apple's board, the company was on the brink of collapse," Cook added. "He not only helped Apple survive, but he's led us to a level of success that was simply unimaginable back in 1997." Campbell, among other leadership roles, was president and CEO of Intuit, the solutions provider behind Quicken, QuickBooks and TurboTax.
Ahead of the announcement, Campbell spoke with Fortune magazine about his friendship with Jobs and how he came to join the Apple board. The two were neighbors in Palo Alto, Calif., and Jobs would sometimes walk over to Campbell's house for a chat, or head into Campbell's backyard to sit down by the pool and think.
New, Younger PerspectivesCook has been "actively seeking" new directors to add to Apple's eight-person board, The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month, noting that six of the seven outside directors are 63 or older. Four have been on the board for more than a decade. Wagner (aged 53), brings needed finance expertise to the board, which currently includes executives from J. Crew, Genentech and Disney. She's held a variety of positions at BlackRock. In addition to co-founding it, she served as co-COO, was its head of corporate strategy and coordinated "strategic initiatives, its initial public offering, the acquisitions and joint ventures in Japan, China and India," according to her Businessweek profile. In 2011, Forbes included Wagner on its list of the most powerful women in business, noting that she drove BlackRock's 2009 acquisition of Barclays Global Investors, a major factor "in more than doubling profits." She currently sits on several boards, including those of BlackRock, DSP BlackRock (in India) and Swiss Re, a provider of insurance, reinsurance and other forms of what it calls "risk transfer." Welcoming Wagner, Cook said in his statement, "We believe her strong experience, especially in [mergers and acquisitions] and building a global business across both developed and emerging markets, will be extremely valuable as Apple continues to grow around the world."
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