Apple announced Tuesday that Arthur D. Levinson, member of Apple’s board since 2005, will be the successor to Steve Jobs as Apple’s non-executive chairman. In addition, Apple has appointed Robert Iger, CEO and President of The Walt Disney Company, to the board of directors.
Levinson is chairman and former CEO of Genentech. Apple CEO Tim Cook said this of Levinson in a press release Tuesday:
“Art has made enormous contributions to Apple since he joined the board in 2000. He has been our longest serving co-lead director, and his insight and leadership are incredibly valuable to Apple, our employees and our shareholders.”
Iger has been Disney’s chief since 2005. His addition to the board brings the number of directors back to eight, following Steve Jobs’ death in October. Apple and Disney’s relationship was cemented through Jobs, when Disney eventually bought his computer animation company Pixar in 2006, making Jobs Disney’s largest single shareholder. Of Iger, Cook said:
“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.”
Obviously, Iger brings deep knowledge of the content and creative businesses to Apple, and he was also a good friend of Jobs. But among his other attributes, Apple specifically points out in its news release on his appointment that Iger presides over the world’s largest media company, and that he sits on the US-China Business Council. It seems like a good fit for Apple; not only does it see China as its second-most important regional market after the U.S., but it’s also ended up being one of the largest distributors of media through its iTunes and App stores.