updated 07:05 pm EDT, Thu July 17, 2014
Susan Wagner is second woman, first financial guru to join Apple BOD
On Thursday, Apple announced the retirement of its longest-serving board member, Intuit Chairman Bill Campbell, and his replacement: global investment firm BlackRock co-founder Susan Wagner. Campbell originally joined Apple as VP of Marketing in 1983 under then-CEO John Sculley, eventually becoming the head of the Claris software division. He was appointed to the Board of Directors by Steve Jobs upon the latter's return in 1997, and has served on the board since then.
Wagner has been a part of BlackRock since it was founded in 1988, and held various titles at the company including CEO, Head of Corporate Strategy, COO and Vice Chair. She presently serves as a director for the company, as well as on the boards of Wellesley College (her alma mater), Hackely School, DSP BlackRock (India) and Swiss Re. "We believe her strong experience, especially in [mergers and acquisitions] and building a global business across both developed and emerging markets, will be extremely valuable as Apple continues to grow around the world," said CEO Tim Cook. Wagner's bio has already replaced that of Campbell on the company's leadership page.
"Over the past 17 years, it's been exciting to watch history unfold as Apple emerged as the premier technology company in the world. Working with Steve and Tim has been a joy," Campbell said of his departure. "The company today is in the best shape that I have seen it, and Tim's leadership of his strong team will allow Apple to continue to be great going forward."
Cook praised Campbell's contributions to Apple, saying that "Bill's contributions to Apple are immeasurable and we owe him a huge debt of gratitude," Cook said. "When Bill joined Apple's board, the company was on the brink of collapse. He not only helped Apple survive, but he's led us to a level of success that was simply unimaginable back in 1997."
Wagner is one of very few women to ever serve on Apple's board of directors; former Avon CEO Andrea Jung was appointed in 2008 and continues to serve today. The move follows reports from earlier this week that Cook and the board were looking to diversify and possibly expand Apple's BOD.
"We conducted an exhaustive search for someone who would further strengthen our board's breadth of talent and background, and we are delighted to have identified such an outstanding individual," said Genentech's Art Levinson, Apple's chairman. "I'm confident that Sue is going to make an important and positive impact on our company."
BlackRock has become one of the world's most successful asset-management companies under Wagner, now managing assets valued at $4.3 trillion. She has been recognized as one of Fortune Magazine's 50 Most Powerful Women in Business and honored by the National Council for Research on Women.
"I have always admired Apple for its innovative products and dynamic leadership team," said Wagner, "and I'm honored to be joining their board. I have tremendous respect for Tim, Art and the other board members, and I look forward to working with them."