Levinson becomes chairman, Iger joins Apple board of directors

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Arthur Levinson

Apple has announced that Arthur Levinson has been appointed chairman of the company’s board of directors. The role, which was previously held by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs upon his resignation as chief executive officer, has been vacant since Jobs died last month. Disney CEO Bob Iger has also been named to the board.

Levinson, the current chairman and former CEO of biotech firm Genentech, first joined Apple’s board in 2000, and has served as co-lead director of Apple’s board since 2005. The company notes that he has been on all three of the board’s committees: audit and finance, nominating and corporate governance, and compensation. He will continue to serve on the audit committee, where he will be joined by Iger.

“Art has made enormous contributions to Apple since he joined the board in 2000,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. “He has been our longest serving co-lead director, and his insight and leadership are incredibly valuable to Apple, our employees and our shareholders.”

While Disney’s Iger is a new addition to the board, Apple has had a long-standing relationship with the media company. Disney subsidiary ABC was among the first to make its television shows available on the iTunes Store, and Iger himself joined Steve Jobs onstage in 2006 when the Apple CEO announced that the store would begin selling movies.

At the time of his passing, Jobs was also a member of Disney’s board of directors, and the largest individual shareholder in the media company, thanks to its 2006 purchase of Pixar, the animation studio of which Jobs served as CEO.

“Bob and I have gotten to know one another very well over the past few years and on behalf of the entire board, we think he is going to make an extraordinary addition to our already very strong board,” said Cook in a statement. “His strategic vision for Disney is based on three fundamentals: generating the best creative content possible, fostering innovation and utilizing the latest technology, and expanding into new markets around the world which makes him a great fit for Apple.”

In addition to Iger and Levinson, the Apple board of directors includes Apple CEO Tim Cook, Intuit chairman and former CEO Bill Campbell, J. Crew chairman and CEO Millard Drexler, former United States Vice President Al Gore, Avon chairman and CEO Andrea Jung (the other previous co-lead director), and former Northrop Grumman chairman and CEO Ronald Sugar.

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