Rather than acting as mere advisers to one of the world’s great visionary leaders, the board may have to take more control, be less deferential to the new CEO Tim Cook than it was to Jobs, and meet more often.
“Over time that board is going to have to step up to greater responsibility and a more traditional role,” said Jim Post, a professor of management at Boston University School of Management to Reuters.
Jobs, after a lengthy battle with a rare form of pancreatic cancer and other health problems, on Wednesday said he could no longer fulfill his duties at the world’s most valuable technology company and handed the CEO reins to his long-time lieutenant Cook.
Initially at least, the board will be chaired by Jobs himself, though there are questions over whether he will be in that position long, or play a major role, given the state of his health.
The creation of a chairman’s position is a first step in restructuring the board. Apple was one of the few U.S. companies that lacked a chairman, raising concerns that there was no one to balance the power of the CEO.
The company had defended the lack of a chairman, saying it was in the best interests of the company and shareholders for the CEO to instead interact with two co-lead directors, Art Levinson and Andrea Jung.
That leadership structure “enhances the board’s oversight of and independence from management and the company’s overall corporate governance,” Apple had said in a proxy statement in January.