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Apple Names New Chairman 114

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the disney-movies-exclusively-distributed-via-iphone dept.
angry tapir writes "Arthur Levinson, former CEO of biotech company Genentech, is taking on the chairmanship of Apple's board, filling the role that Apple founder Steve Jobs vacated when he died last month." El Reg notes that Disney CEO/President Robert Iger was also appointed to the board, and that this marks the first time since the return of Steve Jobs to Apple that the CEO and board chairman were different people.
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Apple Names New Chairman

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  • please (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @08:59AM (#38072740)

    please let him be some jacked roid raging hairy chested mans man. every time i look at an apple product i felt like watching the view and eating some ice cream

  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @09:00AM (#38072754)

    These are pretty conventional corporate appointments, which leads me to wonder how much longer the Steve Job's aura will last. I think they would have been better off appointing a very charismatic figurehead as CEO (as the *public* face), and then letting the business folks quietly run the show behind the scenes. It's hard to believe that fans will one day cry like their daddy died when Tim Cook or one of these corporate insiders leaves. And Apple has always relied on a certain degree of devotion from their fans (I'll resist the cult comparison) and an image of hipness.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @09:08AM (#38072826)

      These are pretty conventional corporate appointments, which leads me to wonder how much longer the Steve Job's aura will last. I think they would have been better off appointing a very charismatic figurehead as CEO (as the *public* face), and then letting the business folks quietly run the show behind the scenes. It's hard to believe that fans will one day cry like their daddy died when Tim Cook or one of these corporate insiders leaves. And Apple has always relied on a certain degree of devotion from their fans (I'll resist the cult comparison) and an image of hipness.

      The vast majority of iPod/iPhone/iPad owners have never met Steve Jobs; they've never watched an Apple video stream of a Steve Jobs keynote. They may have seen him on the cover of Time once, but they never read the article, because that's boring business-stock-market-computer-geek stuff. They haven't even read the tell-all biography that every tech news site has been posting exposes on, because, well, nobody reads books anymore.

      The Steve Jobs posse came out in force on the Internet when Steve Jobs died, but they're a tiny, tiny majority of Apple buyers in real life. Apple has been so successful because it appealed to regular people. The Apple fanboys were just the highly visible cheering section; the stands were filled with regular people.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The fanboys are who buy the inital offering and sell the concept to their friends.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        [...] but they're a tiny, tiny majority of Apple buyers in real life

        You clearly don't have a facebook or twitter account

        • You clearly don't have a facebook or twitter account

          Of course I don't. All the twitter accounts [slashdot.org] kept praising GNU/Linux and slamming "M$". I bet twitter would have the same sentiment against Apple if he were still running his sockpuppet show on Slashdot today.

          • On the day of his death, something like 80% of my (non tech-savvy) friends changed their profiles to something apple related and updated their statuses in praise of Steve Jobs. Very few of these friends own apple products, may I add, so this wasn't even remotely related to an 'apple fan' thing.

            So what I meant by the facebook comment, is that I observed exactly the opposite than what you think, in practice. The media and the world in general reacted very vividly to Steve-Jobs' death, apple-fans or not. The m

      • Did you forget where Apple was before Jobs came back?
        • Did you forget where Apple was before Jobs came back?

          The haters claimed there was a RDF at Apple even before he came back. That's how much they are under the real RDF.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Bing Tsher E (943915)

            Any group of fans who refer to 'the others' as 'the haters' is a fucking cult.

            • by mjwx (966435)

              Any group of fans who refer to 'the others' as 'the haters' is a fucking cult.

              See Sig.

              • Any group of fans who refer to 'the others' as 'the haters' is a fucking cult.

                See Sig.

                Look at your behind, much more insightful.

      • by flyingsquid (813711) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @10:21AM (#38073470)
        Steve Jobs' followers don't need to be huge in number to make a big difference, if they're the type of people who set trends. Stephen Colbert is always sporting the latest iGadget on the Colbert Report, or making a big deal about how his love affair with an Apple product is ended by the release of a newer, shinier, thinner version of the same gadget. Apple products feature prominently in movies and TV, because in the same way the director wants the character to have fashionable clothes and a sleek car, they want them to have the coolest, trendiest gadgets. If your friend who is always quick to pick up on technology trends has ditched his Kindle and is now sporting an iPad, that may not make you run out to the Apple Store but it will make you consider whether it's something you should buy. So if the people who follow Steve Jobs are the people the rest of us take our social cues from, the Reality Distortion Field can have a huge effect.
        • by Jerom (96338)

          Additionally the unconditional fans are what can save a business when it hits a rought patch. Harley-Davidson resembles Apple in this respect.

          • Additionally the unconditional fans are what can save a business when it hits a rought patch. Harley-Davidson resembles Apple in this respect.

            So we're destined to have Apple-themed pickup trucks, bicycles and dildos?

            We're doomed.

            • by Pope (17780)

              So we're destined to have Apple-themed pickup trucks, bicycles and dildos?

              We're doomed.

              Nope. That would mean Apple offering a wide range of options on their hardware... :D

            • by gorzek (647352)

              Just be thankful you won't be getting Apple-themed "truck nuts."

          • You mean friends like Bill Gates who are willing to infuse your company with 150 million dollars without owning you? This IS how Apple was saved, period. They were literally weeks from bankruptcy. Apple is not magic and it certainly is not a fantastical story of legends. Although, Apple and Steve, did deliver and prosper; it would not have been possible without the generosity of Bill Gates. (I know, I was surprised to learn this myself.)
        • by delinear (991444)
          It's also magnified by the fact that the wider press don't understand technology so they'll take their cues from whoever happens to be the IT flavour of the day because it's easier to steal their ideas than to do genuine research. That means it only needs a few key figures sporting trendy gadgets for them to sink into the wider public consciousness.
          • by avatar139 (918375)

            It's also magnified by the fact that the wider press don't understand technology so they'll take their cues from whoever happens to be the IT flavour of the day because it's easier to steal their ideas than to do genuine research. That means it only needs a few key figures sporting trendy gadgets for them to sink into the wider public consciousness.

            Agreed, although I don't think it's a problem that's necessarily limited to just the wider press, as I've seen a lot of IT trade publications going more and more downhill in the past decade or so.

            Honestly though, I think that's more tied into the long slow death of expertise based management which has resulted in more and more businesses hiring people with absolutely no technical aptitude for Engineering and IT positions who make purchasing decisions based on trends and buzzwords, not on technical merit an

        • Steve Jobs' followers don't need to be huge in number to make a big difference, if they're the type of people who set trends. Stephen Colbert is always sporting the latest iGadget on the Colbert Report,.... So if the people who follow Steve Jobs are the people the rest of us take our social cues from, the Reality Distortion Field can have a huge effect.

          Interestingly enough, those "biggest fans" are also the ones making fun of Apple products to a huge public - something those who are actually under the RDF can't realize: the Haters. Unless of course they want to show how everybody thinks Apple sucks: then they point to those "Fanboys" as support.

          • Jobs learned from the really big cult creators of the 70's. He explicitly studied under one of them. Thus we find ourselves today confronting a cult that refers to anybody who is opposed to said cult, particularly those who say: "my fucking god, look at that emporer over there with no clothing on!" as 'The Haters.'

            Anybody who has known a moonie in real life knows that there is a long painful deprogramming process involved in getting them their fucking clue. So the fanboys are probably beyond hope for th

            • Jobs learned from the really big cult creators of the 70's.

              Says the guy blindly following his own leaderless cult. Apple is evil! Lockstep, everybody!

      • but they're a tiny, tiny majority of Apple buyers in real life.

        I thought Apple had a huge number of people who buy their products. If that is the case, how can the majority of them be "tiny, tiny"?

        • by mikaida (2509414)

          but they're a tiny, tiny majority of Apple buyers in real life.

          I thought Apple had a huge number of people who buy their products. If that is the case, how can the majority of them be "tiny, tiny"?

          No, you've taken that quote out of context. It was referring to "the Apple posse" being a small number. Most of Apple's customers are not die-hard fans, just regular people who want to stay hip with the latest phone or technology fashion.

          • The poster I replied to said that "the Apple posse" is a "tiny, tiny majority of Apple buyers". How does putting it in context cause it to make any more sense?
      • by Belial6 (794905)
        No. Apple has generally NOT appealed to regular people. If they had, Macs would not have been an irrelevant minority of computers. Even today, Mac market share is closer to Linux than it is to Windows. iOS has been popular, but that is already losing market share as devices that appeal more to regular people are being released.
        • by f()rK()_Bomb (612162) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @12:09PM (#38074980)
          I think you may have been living in a cave for the last 10 years or so :p What about the ipod? Or the iphone, losing market share doesnt mean that the devices dont appeal to regular people. It means theres been a huge influx of cheap android devices. Market share is not a zero-sum game for phones. And although the market share of mac in the pc space appears small, if you go to a university or coffee shop and look at how many people are sporting macbooks, it seems clear that regular people like apple products very much. Apple products are expensive, hence not everyone who wants one can get one, but they certainly appeal to regular people because they are simple and clean. I think you may be confusing yourself for a regular person. If you read slashdot, you are not a regular person :p My sister would be a regular person, her and all her friends are obsessed with apple products. They think android is clunky. Yet she has an android phone, because its really cheap.
          • by Algae_94 (2017070)
            So let me see here. Product "ABC" has smallish market share and can't seem to get out of the shadow of competing Product "XYZ" which has a dominant majority of market share. Now, If I happen to go to a special location and see that people there prefer ABC, that equates to "it seems clear that regular people like [ABC] products very much."

            That's some real spin there. Obviously people like Macs because they have captured a decent share of the desktop computer market, but it is not correct to find niche gr
          • by daath93 (1356187)
            I am so sick of fringe vocal minorities (the "99%", iZombies etc) telling me that their loud but insignificant numbers are indicitive of some sort of "norm" that I should obviously be part of.
            • by sessamoid (165542)
              "Fringe vocal minorities" could be at least as accurately used to describe FOSS zealots.
              • by dudpixel (1429789)

                "Fringe vocal minorities" could be at least as accurately used to describe FOSS zealots.

                This is true, and is not a rebuttal of the post you replied to.

          • "Cheap Android devices" Motorola and HTC are not cheap, and happen to be quite polished. There is some crap floating around but it is irrelevant. Regular people are going to Verizon and getting an Android based Motorola phone.
      • by mjwx (966435)

        The vast majority of iPod/iPhone/iPad owners have never met Steve Jobs; they've never watched an Apple video stream of a Steve Jobs keynote. They may have seen him on the cover of Time once, but they never read the article, because that's boring business-stock-market-computer-geek stuff.

        There in lies the problem.

        Keeping the rabid fanboys deluded is easy, its the average people who will first realise that Apple isn't all it's cracked up to be. No one really knew Steve Jobs, they only knew of Steve Jobs.

    • by bberens (965711)

      I think they would have been better off appointing a very charismatic figurehead as CEO (as the *public* face), and then letting the business folks quietly run the show behind the scenes.

      I hear Jerry Sandusky might be looking for work.

      /too soon?

    • by morgauxo (974071) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @10:55AM (#38073906)
      Don't worry. They are just waiting for Steve Ballmer to become available.
    • Tim Cook is an interesting person, and having him step up made sense.

      Levinson??? Now that's strange.

      Iger? Jobs respected him. The guy understands content and polish. But he doesn't understand cultivating the cult.

      Cultivating...

      That describes Apple in one word!
      LOL

      • Levinson??? Now that's strange.

        No YOU don't understand. Levinson - CEO of Genetech. The biotech company so old that they managed to scarf gene.com. Remember, Jobs had his DNA sequenced.

        Sequenced DNA + Genetech = Jurassic Park IV or a new Steve Jobs.

        • To be fair, Jobs was probably trying to get definitive truth of who his birth father was.

          • You don't have to do what he did - sequence his entire [time.com] genome if all you want it do determine paternity [wikipedia.org]. At least in the normal sense of paternity.

            If he wanted to see where he branched off the evolutionary tree from Homo sapiens, well, then it's a reasonable approach.

        • I stand corrected! Thank you.

    • These are pretty conventional corporate appointments,

      Fool! He's head of Genetech [gene.com]. The first Biotech company. They're so old they managed to get "gene.com".

      Think cloning.

      Think Steve.

      Think how much DNA of his is floating around in the lab.

      Profit!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @09:01AM (#38072760)

    Maximizing profits to boost short term share price will be the #1 focus of the company going forward.

  • by vlm (69642) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @09:07AM (#38072818)

    So, the biotech place only sells R+D to megacorps and their customer experience is designed for PHDs in ChemEng, Chem, Bio, MDs, and of course, beancounters.

    The Disney guy thinks he should own our culture in perpetuity and the government should enforce and extend failing business models, admittedly a widely held belief.

    Who, if anyone in their leadership, cares about the general public actually buying their stuff?

    I could see this resulting in a big push for "ItunesU", or tablet/phone electronic medical records, or maybe an even more draconian DRM setup. Any way this team could benefit the general public?

    The best I can come up with is something like a real world highly integrated "medical tricoder" that is DRM locked down so you/your doc/your med insurance has to pay apple each time they want to look at your records, forever. Also the tricoder only works with Apple-approved MRI units, Apple-approved IV pumps, etc.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @09:11AM (#38072860)
    I think Apple should have tapped Job's Disney connections so his corpse could be brought back in animatronic form.
    • Disney's animatronics are too unrealistic. Apple would have had to completely reinvent animatronics for iSteve.

    • Steve Jobs' vision of hell might have been eternity in the Country Bear Jamboree, but his image wearing denim overalls and playing the iJug would make me laugh.
  • So when I first glanced at this I thought it said "Arthur Levinson, former CEO of biotch company"
  • Where do I sign up for my $50

  • by walterbyrd (182728) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @09:44AM (#38073106)

    Like Apple, Disney is nearly obsesive about protecting it's IP; while ripping off everybody else's IP.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      And as long as people like you continue to validate that lie, by using oxymorons like "intellectual property", as long will the organized crime continue their protection racket.

      Don't you people realize that you're supporting and validating that way of thinking when you use it.

  • First time? (Score:5, Informative)

    by homsar (2461440) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @09:53AM (#38073184)

    this marks the first time since the return of Steve Jobs to Apple that the CEO and board chairman were different people.

    ...except for that period after Steve resigned CEOship but was still Chairman when Tim Cook was CEO... (Reading TFA, it seems that the error is in the paraphrasing rather than the original.)

  • by ElitistWhiner (79961) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @09:54AM (#38073194) Journal

    ...you are witness to the fact AAPL is all grown-up, its founding father passed on. This is what a mature, responsible and somber AAPL stewards its legacy.

    After the shock, transition and adjustment to losing its visionary leader fades, you can expect Apple to find its vision, voice and vocation going forward. Not now

    • It's hard to imagine a mature Apple. They've already tried to go without their visionary creators, it wasn't a very nice experience.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I know, I know, Schiller and Amelio and the wasteland that was Copeland and the 90's, full of abortive efforts that never bore fruit at Apple. On the other hand, the environment and landscape is totally different now than then.

        Apple not only has a straight flush of products in its hand, it also has a stacked deck.

        Hell, with their market cap, they're on their way to owning the goddamned casino.

  • by kungfool (949878) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @12:12PM (#38075020)
    I don't understand all the Art bashing here. I worked under Art when he ran Genentech research, and later when he was promoted to CEO. He was a genius at getting other geniuses (and no, I'm not counting myself in that category) to give their best, most creative work. He made Genentech a fun, exciting place to work. We all worked hard (very hard), but were well rewarded and felt the work was vital and exciting stuff. I think he has exactly what it takes to help guide Apple. He's not some bean-counter, suit wearing executive. He's a scientist at heart, and as hard-core a geek as any one could want (he was known for using UNIX mail even after the company rolled out a custom mail interface).
    • I don't understand all the Art bashing here.

      The haters need a reason why Apple will finally fall - like they have been predicting since 1976.

  • I recall what happened to Apple last time an outsider became a high-level executive. Damn near killed the company. Remains to be seen how this will all play out, but I think we'll see more commodification of Apple's various lines, pruning out stuff seen as not productive (computers, for example), and a slow decline in "wow" factor as the Jobs gang loses more control and leave the company. The goal will be to maximize the bottom line in whatever way possible, killing off the gold-egg-laying goose. Withou

    • by Pope (17780)

      Steve was ousted from the company the last time, rather than spending years plans and ideas and clueing in his successor(s) on where to go when he wasn't around anymore. Completely different scenarios. Besides, Tim's got long haul options on the line.

    • by mattack2 (1165421)

      I recall what happened to Apple last time an outsider became a high-level executive

      You apparently don't understand the term "non-executive chairman".

    • Art Levinstein has been on the board for years, working with Jobs to do what he did. He was a personal friend of Jobs, and gave medical advice (which was ignored).

      This is NOT a Sculley redux.

  • Often after a strong leader disappears the vacuum afterwards usually ends up in a huge power struggle from all the underlings. All the pent up motives and needs surfaces at once all over the place.

    Unless the new leader is exceptionally strong and good at suppression i expect a huge power struggle at Apple where much good talent will be tossed as sharkfood. Its not unusual that power struggles like these almost destroys otherwise very healthy companies.

  • by Anarchduke (1551707) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @01:34PM (#38076046)
    People accused Apple of being evil. HAH, It'll take a Disney exec to show them how its really done!
  • I guess this turns Apple into a true Mickey Mouse operation.

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