Massive shakeup at Apple board in years, longtime board members step down

Massive shakeup at Apple board in years, longtime board members step down

Apple is shaking up its board in a massive manner. Two longstanding directors, Al Gore and James Bell are leaving the board. Aerospace Corp. CEO Wanda Austin are set to join soon

In a significant board reshuffling, tech giant Apple has announced the retirement of two longstanding directors, Al Gore and James Bell, marking one of the most substantial shake-ups in years, as per a Bloomberg report.

Former Aerospace Corp. Chief Executive Officer Wanda Austin is set to join the board, as revealed in an announcement made by the company on Thursday.

The decision to retire Gore and Bell is in line with Apple’s policy, which prevents directors from standing for reelection after the age of 75.

Both Bell, a former Boeing Co. executive who joined the board in 2015, and former US Vice President Gore, who has served as a director for over two decades, are 75 years old.


This board upheaval is an unusual occurrence for Apple, as it typically experiences minimal retirements at a time. Gore holds the distinction of being the longest-serving member, having joined in 2003 when co-founder Steve Jobs was at the helm, and the iconic iPhone had not yet been introduced.

The new nominee, Wanda Austin, formerly the CEO of Aerospace Corp., is recognized for her significant track record in advancing innovation and shaping corporate strategy.

Despite her background in space exploration, an area outside Apple’s direct involvement, Austin is poised for election at the company’s annual shareholder meeting on February 28.

Contrary to the age policy, another director, Ronald Sugar, is not stepping down at the age of 76.

Apple explained that Sugar’s retention is in consideration of recent transitions in board composition and the value of retaining directors with deep insights into the company.

While Apple disclosed the latest compensation details for CEO Tim Cook and other executives, Cook’s target pay for 2023 decreased to $49 million from the $99 million received in 2022. However, his total compensation for 2023 reached $63.2 million, with significant contributions from stock awards. For 2024, Cook’s target compensation from equity is set to increase to $50 million.

Other top executives at Apple, including the CFO, head of retail, general counsel, and COO, maintained a compensation level of approximately $27 million each in 2023.

In a filing, Apple urged shareholders to vote in favour of the board members and executive compensation. The company also advised investors to reject a proposal calling for a report on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) within the company.

Apple argued that the proposed report’s scope was overly broad and could potentially reveal strategic plans and initiatives that may harm the company’s competitive position. This comes as Apple is reportedly gearing up to unveil a range of AI-based tools for the iPhone and other devices in June, as reported by Bloomberg News.

(With inputs from agencies)