A new survey published in
October 7th issue (and available to online subscribers) ranks Apple’s board of directors among the industry’s worst, along with The Gap, Xerox, Dillards Inc., Qwest Communications International Inc., Conseco Inc., Kmart Corp. and Tyson Foods Inc. Additionally, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has the dubious distinction of being on two of those boards — Apple’s and The Gap’s — noted
Criteria used by BusinessWeek included the independence of the company boards, stock ownership and other values. BusinessWeek reportedly graded the companies on performance measures and governance, considering issues like executive compensation. A
cited Jobs as the highest paid CEO in America, for accepting a US$45.1 million bonus (although he drew no salary).
The list makes no overall statement about the financial stability or profitability of the organizations it points to as having the worst boards of directors, but the list certainly puts Apple in some questionable company at best. Kmart Corp. has filed for bankruptcy protection. Xerox is being investigated by the U.S. attorney’s office for its accounting practices even after settling an SEC probe earlier this year that led to a $10 million penalty. Qwest’s founder is facing questions from a congressional committee on whether he used insider information in stock trades. And after defaulting on $2.5 billion in bonds in August, Conseco is described by industry analysts headed as headed toward bankruptcy itself.