Apple Inc. Board Changes: Campbell Retires, Sue Wagner Joins

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s longest serving director Bill Campbell will step down from the and will be replaced by former BlackRock Inc Vice Chairman Sue Wagner, according to company’s statement. Campbell’s exit from the board will mark first alteration in the company’s board since 2011.

Is Apple signaling continuing acquisitions?

Wagner is the co-founder of one of world’s biggest money manager in 1988, holding key experience in mergers and acquisitions, according to Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook on Thursday.  She took forward the BlackRock’s deal for units of Merrill Lynch &Co and Barclays Plc.

Wagner symbolizes the company’s effort to make that change as she is only the second female director in Apple. Before, Campbell, former Avon Products Inc. CEO Andrea Jung was hired on the board in 2008. The iPhone maker is prepared to add more women and minorities to its board after being blown by the shareholders for lacking diversity.

“We conducted an exhaustive search for someone who would further strengthen our board’s breadth of talent and background,” Art Levinson, Apple Inc.’s chairman, said in a statement. Levinson added that Sue will drive positive changes and improvements in the company.

Wagner will receive a $50,000 annual stipend, according to a regulatory filing, and will also be entitled to 1,646 restricted units, worth about $153,000 based on yesterday’s stock price.

Tim Cook is expected to expedite the pace of acquisitions after Wagner joins the board as the company has been active in the acquisitions this year cutting a $3 billion deal in May to buy headphone maker and music-subscription service Beats Electronics LLC. Cook stated, in April, that the company has already purchased 24 companies in the prior 18 months, which is extraordinary compared to just two acquisitions in 2009.

Prominent management shuffles

Apple has reshuffled its management over the past few months such as hiring former Burberry Group Plc CEO Angela Ahrendts as the head of the retail, hiring former Xerox Corp. executive Luca Maestri as the chief financial officer and the much discussed acquisition of Beats and hiring Jimmy Lovine.

Campbell, 73, is an expert in orchestrating the operation in the technology industry, and has helped leaders at Apple, Google Inc, Amazon and others in his career span. A confidant of late Steve Jobs and often dubbed as ‘coach,’ a reference to his name as a college football coach, he served Apple’s board for 17 years.

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