“The significance of last week’s report that Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook is ‘actively seeking new directors’ to add to the company’s board cannot be overstated,” Mark Rogers writes for Forbes. “This is the moment when Cook can finally place his stamp on the technology giant, more than three years after Steve Jobs passed the torch to him before his death in 2011. But this is about more than Tim Cook, too. It is about the future of the company, because if ever there was a need for a boardroom shakeup, there is at Apple.”

“As Apple’s founder and chief visionary, Jobs viewed boards as an obstacle to innovation. Thus he surrounded himself in the boardroom with a brilliant but arguably passive group of directors who provided him with the leeway he felt he needed to build the company that Apple became,” Rogers writes. “The problem, of course, is that Cook adopted Jobs’ board, and such a strategy is no longer sufficient. Apple needs a board that will challenge Cook and his management team to remain competitive in a growing international market.”

“The question now facing Apple’s shareholders is whether Cook can embrace innovation in the boardroom the way Apple does in its products. Almost any board embarking on a director search can attest that there are no perfect candidates,” Rogers writes. “A ‘strong business background’ is almost always a given, but it is virtually impossible to check off all of the desired proficiencies on a nominating committee’s wish list.”

Nevertheless, if I were an Apple shareholder, I would want Tim Cook to address these five needs in his director search:

1) Female candidates
2) Selecting outside the directors’ club
3) International expertise
4) Technology background
5) Youth

Read more in the full article here.