BusinessWeek: Apple’s vote for Gore a ‘Risky Scheme’

In his “BYTE OF THE APPLE” column for BusinessWeek, Technology Editor, Alex Salkever outlines “why Apple shouldn’t vote for Gore.”

“The failed Presidential contender is a business novice whose board nomination raises more questions about Apple’s governance. In The Global-Investor Book of Investing Rules (Financial Times Prentice Hall), shareholder activist and gadfly money manager Robert Monks, with tongue planted firmly in cheek, coined a new rule for investors: Short the stock of any company employing a former Tennessee senator on its board. After all, Albert Gore Sr. sat on the board of oil giant Occidental Petroleum (OXY ) during a period of corporate misdeeds back in the 1960s. Former Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker of the Volunteer State was on the board of Waste Management (WMI ), another troubled outfit. Construction concern Stone & Young had on its board ex-Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson. It declared bankruptcy soon after his tenure.”

“Now comes 2000 Democratic Presidential nominee Albert Gore Jr., another former Tennessee senator, who has accepted nomination to Apple Computer’s (AAPL ) board of directors. If past is prologue, Apple shareholders better keep their eyes open and their ears peeled.”

Full article here.


  1. He is unqualified to help run a computer hardware company.

    He’s only been offered this position because of the name recognition and lobbying doors he can open.

  2. Is it wise to put politicians on a board of directors when it will automatically tick off the 50% of your customers and stockholders from the other party? How will adding Al Gore increase sales, profits and stock value?
    Pissed off stockholder and customer.

  3. Can You Believe It? We don’t have enough controversy
    now we have to entertain every polotico idealist with conversations about meaningless dribble and trite theories from every honest abe…To explain why Mr Gore…Does That Sell CPU’s? Well that Is What It’s all about Isn’t It Mr Jobs?
    Apple sells …or maybe we are switching,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
    to buying hog wash …who knows ?

  4. Grow up!!!! Take a look at the board of any company and see how qualified all it’s members are to help run that company…. Steve Jobs was on the Board of the Gap for God’s sake… How qualified is he to sell jeans!!!! We should be MUCH more concerned about the Multi-Million dollar contract that was just rewarded to Haliburton… A company once run by Vice Prez DICK Cheney…. If you want an example of corperate/goverment abuse… Look no further…

    Hail George W. Bush
    Hail to the THEIF!

  5. Newspapers’ recount shows Bush prevailed

    “George W. Bush would have won a hand count of Florida’s disputed ballots if the standard advocated by Al Gore had been used, the first full study of the ballots reveals. Bush would have won by 1,665 votes – more than triple his official 537-vote margin – if every dimple, hanging chad and mark on the ballots had been counted as votes, a USA TODAY/Miami Herald/Knight Ridder study shows. The study is the first comprehensive review of the 61,195 “undervote” ballots that were at the center of Florida’s disputed presidential election.”

    Sorry to dash your illusions with facts, Flaming Libs. Click here for USA Today article.

  6. OK, I’m a staunch Republican and Gore wouldn’t get my vote for president But, as a board member of Apple I think he’s a good fit. He has values around the use of technology in education and I suspect he’s got a decent network of connections in gov’t and edu. With Steve’s active involvement I don’t think he’s really in position to screw things up on his own.

  7. HAIL TO THE THEIF!!! The Candidate that got the most popular votes is not the President of Our Democratic Nation… True this is a systematic problem, but it is enraging all the same… Plus it doesn’t hurt when your brother controls the pivotal state….

  8. Gore is obviously extremely intelligent and tech savvy and well connected. Lucky for Apple he was willing to serve! He should be a great asset on a well diversified board.

  9. Does Al Gore sell CPU’s? Well in my case, no. I refused my new G4 Powerbook when fedex brought it to my door last Thursday. I will continue to use my G3 Lombard and explore the possibility of RedHat Linux on a PC notebook. I don’t see the “Gore” gain, politically or in the business since. With the appointment of Gore, can Spindler or Amelio be far behind? If Steve wanted a big name, he should have talked to Woz about serving. That would’ve won the hearts and souls of Apple Community instead of pissing off half of it.

  10. Matt, at least learn to spell THIEF…If you intend to keep using it at least show you have enough brains to spell a five letter word. Ever heard “i before e…”? BTW, I scraped the Apple sticker off my rear window when I heard about the Al Gore thing…

  11. hmm… apple recently submitted OS X for examination to see if it can be used by the fed gov’t and now they have someone from the fed gov’t on their board. this prolly has less to do with the consumer market and more to do with getting apple inroads into the gov’t sector.

  12. Oops Sorry Merlin… I have always had issues with the I before E thing… That aside…, How sad you are… Scrapping the Apple sticker from your car… And How typical of the blind conservative right to let their politics cloud their judgement….

    I guess your could by a Wintel Machine…. Oops… Bill Gates is just as liberal as Steve Jobs…

    Maybe a Linux Box… Whooaaa wait a minute.. Not those free software Communists….

    Oh well…. Technology companies do tend to be liberal… I hope you enjoy your new Conservative, technology Free life…

    Lighten Up…

  13. Also, “if the standard advocated by Al Gore” was not relevant to the Florida supreme court. Their decision was to count ALL LEAGALLY CAST votes and not selected counties like Gore wanted. We know what happened next.

  14. My fellow mac lovers, you obviously know very little about how a well-tuned board of directors work. I’m the CFO of one of the largest industrial design firms in the nation, and let’s just say that we would be in a world of hurt if we chose our board members the way Apple does. To say “Al Gore even uses Apple computers” as if it’s a good thing, trust me, it doesn’t help. The best people Apple can choose are people who won’t be directly affected by decisions Apple makes. Some of the best board members a corporation can bag are those that are experts in choosing great board members! Personally, if I was Steve Jobs, the board would consist of (first and foremost) Ralph Ward, who is arguably one of the nation’s leading gurus in running effective boards; Robert E. Mittelstaedt Jr., vice dean and director of executive education at the Wharton School; and from there I’d probably fill out with five more picks, possibly Sergey Brin, President of Technology at Google; David Pauldine, President of The Art Institutes; Brian Gallagher, President and CEO of United Way; Jeffrey Bleustein, CEO of Harley-Davidson, who just announced their record fourth-quarter and their seventeenth consecutive record year, and is one of the very few corporations that has customer loyalty on the level of Apple’s; and for my fifth choice, I’d probably have to go with Ralph Whitworth, for the same reasons Nell Minow chose. That would be my ‘dream’ board, if I were in Steve’s position. But you usually don’t get your first picks, and I’m obviously not in Steve’s position anyways.

    This is from the viewpoint of the Chief Financial Officer of a Top-Ten industrial (product) design firm of the world.

  15. Nope Sorry… Not a big Gore Fan Either…. Just a guy who find Dubbya exceeding under qualified for the job he holds… And NO this has NOTHING to do with the War… So don’t even start down that road…

  16. Further, our CEO has worked personally with Steve Jobs in the past, before he was ousted from Apple. I look up to Jobs, and think he – for the most part – has done a fantastic job at running the company. But his padding the board with personal friends and turning the BoD into a fraternity is a very poor business decision.

    I don’t think that Gore was such a bad choice. But I don’t think he was a good choice either, and with Apple being infamous for having a poorly-run board, they needed more than anything to prove everyone wrong. Picking Gore proves just the opposite. That Jobs doesn’t know who would be a good choice.

  17. I hate the idea of Al Gore being on the board of directors. He is dishonest (as seen in his campaigning, and even more so in his attempt to steal the election) Sorry Eddy – he lost every count. Bush behaved with honor as Al Gore tried to subvert the Constitution, and use a democratic state court system and 4 heavily democratic counties to turn an election.

    Years ago I actually liked Al Gore (I was young and foolish at the time) and was disappointed when he became Clinton’s running mate. After Enron, we want honesty in the boards of cooporations – especially in our beloved Apple.

    I do not think that we will ever see eye to eye on the election, but the willingess to ignore and subvert the law makes me wonder why Apple would want him. He is a lightning rod for criticism and offers next to nothing to Apple in knowlege and expertise – of course it is a board position, so as long as he supports Steve, then he will do no harm.

    It is not going to make me stop buying Mac’s – but it may make me divest some apple stock. Not as much because he is on the board, but worry about a board that would choose him. If he had a tech background, it would make more sense, but as it is I just keep asking why.

    By the way, if they had chosen Rush Limbaugh I would feel the same way – well mostly, Rush does tend to be more honest, but is just as big of a lightning rod for critics.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.