Apple Directors Informally Exploring CEO Succession Possibilities


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

The Wall Street Journal reports that some member of Apple's board of directors have informally been exploring possibilities for CEO succession should Steve Jobs permanently step down from his position.

Jobs has taken several medical leaves of absence over the past few years, the most recent of which began in January and has continued indefinitely. Jobs has however, made several public appearances at Apple media events to introduce new products.
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.

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. The directors don't appear to have been acting on behalf of the full board, some of these people said.
The report notes that Apple's directors have long taken executive succession plans seriously, routinely holding private sessions at every board meeting to discuss the topic and update plans.
Apple's independent directors take succession planning seriously, said a person familiar with the board's thinking. 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."
Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook, who has been in charge of Apple's day-to-day operations in Jobs' absence, is still considered to be a top candidate for the job, but directors are understandably exploring all options and reaching out to multiple channels in order to help make the most informed decision possible.

The report suggests that at least some of the external discussions have been initiated by recruiters themselves, although the talks are said to have progressed beyond the routine contact directors normally have with such firms. Jobs has of course given no indication that he plans to step down permanently, and so discussions appear to so far be informal and preparatory in nature should the situation change.

Article Link: Apple Directors Informally Exploring CEO Succession Possibilities


macrumors 6502
Mar 13, 2011
I wonder if Steve will help choose the next CEO of Apple if he does choose to step down soon?


macrumors regular
Jan 2, 2011
Hire me. I look great in jeans and a black mock turtleneck. Plus I'd be happy with just a small fraction of the current CEO's compensation.


macrumors member
Feb 24, 2011
I swore in the old preview pictures for keynotes they just showed steve jobs, in the most recent one they have split it over three people, I see this as a psychological attempt to get us to be used to not seeing steve jobs the centre of attention and get us used to other "lesser" beings :p



macrumors 68000
Jul 1, 2008
How can you read this article for free? I refuse to give Murdoch any of my money.

On the article, I doubt the board doesn't know whom will replace Jobs.


macrumors member
Mar 8, 2005
As much as I would want that job, I wouldn't want that job. It is such a particular combination of qualities that make up what Steve Jobs has been to Apple. I don't mean to by cynical but I doubt they are going to get someone who doesn't feel like a step back. I'm not just saying this as if I think Steve Jobs is some magical being. He's just a human being but... he was so pushed and inspired, he built it from nothing to what it is today. I fear that they are just going to get 'a decent corporate executive'.


macrumors G4
Feb 5, 2009
We've heard this before.

He could just as well continue in the land of the living for another decade.


macrumors 6502a
Aug 7, 2001
Blast from the past

They're going to bring back John Sculley. Or David Lee Roth. Take your pick.


Staff member
Apr 2, 2008
Apple are a business. Of course they are talking about succession plans. It would be foolhardy not to.


macrumors newbie
Feb 17, 2010
Seattle, WA
On earnings day? Coincidence?

Thanks for the latest panic report, stock price manipulators. You arrived right on time, as predicted. What I really meant to say is: this is disingenuous crap.


macrumors 65816
Jul 23, 2009
No matter who the next CEO they won't have the vision that Steve has. However Apple is full of very talented people who have Steve's work ethic and philosophies in them. I believe Steve has built a great foundation for Apple to move forward and for someone like Cook to become the permanent CEO. However I hope Steve is CEO for years to come.
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