A look at Apple's board
The Wall Street Journal has posted an inside view on Apple's board of directors in the wake of Jerome York's death, and the image they paint is one of a tiny group of people that's strongly loyal to Jobs himself. The group of six people is the smallest board at a Fortune 500 company, and they're all basically handpicked by Jobs, who cleaned house after his return to Apple in the late '90s. He kept only two members back then whom he could trust, and has since only brought on people who will follow his direction.
Not that board members aren't consulted -- York was apparently an expert at auditing and governance, and reigned in those areas. But when Jobs wanted his way, board members stayed quiet or got out -- York told the Wall Street Journal last year that he was "disgusted" by the way the company had handled the reports on Jobs' health and that he even wished he'd left the company over his disagreement. But such is Jobs' hold on the board that even York stayed quiet.
And that's not likely to change in the future. While Apple's rules require them to fill the vacancy that York left, word is that it's unlikely that they'll add too much new blood to the mix. The last time a seat was vacated, when Google's Eric Schmidt left the board, they simply decided they had enough directors and moved on. While COO Tim Cook is rumored to be the best option to fill the spot, the company likely won't make a move unless Jobs says so.
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