“Since Steve Jobs went on medical leave this winter, some members of Apple Inc.’s board have discussed CEO succession with executive recruiters and at least one head of a high-profile technology company, according to people familiar with the matter,” Yukari Iwatani Kane, Joann S. Lublin and Nick Wingfield report for The Wall Street Journal.
“The conversations weren’t explicitly aimed at recruiting a new chief executive and were more of an informal exploration of the company’s options, said these people,” Kane, Lublin and Wingfield report. “The directors don’t appear to have been acting on behalf of the full board, some of these people said. Apple has seven directors, including Mr. Jobs. It is also unclear whether Mr. Jobs was aware. In response to questions from The Wall Street Journal about the discussions, Mr. Jobs said Monday in an email, ‘I think it’s hogwash.'”
“For individual members to hold these conversations outside of the official scope of the board is rare at a company where board members have been hand-picked by Mr. Jobs. The board is known to be very private and rarely speaks with outsiders about its affairs,” Kane, Lublin and Wingfield report. “The conversations all took place after Mr. Jobs, 56 years old, went on his second medical leave in two years in January for an undisclosed ailment. He remains chief executive and active during his leave, according to other people familiar with the company. But he has handed off some daily duties and hasn’t set a date for his full-time return.”
A couple of Apple directors have also held talks about the company’s leadership with some search firms after those recruiters informally approached them, said three of these people… Apple’s independent directors take succession planning seriously, said a person familiar with the company. This person said Apple’s independent board members discuss management succession in private sessions without Mr. Jobs held at every board meeting for the past 12 years. ‘It’s best practice,’ this person noted. ‘Everybody in the room is sworn to secrecy as to what it [the succession] plan is.'”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Interesting time to publish such an article, just before Apple announced their blowout earnings report. Surely it’s just coincidence.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]