Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Who will replace Eric Schmidt on Apple's board?

August 4, 2009: 12:19 PM ET
Tim Cook. Photo: Apple Inc.

Tim Cook. Photo: Apple Inc.

Now that Google (GOOG) CEO Eric Schmidt has resigned from Apple's (AAPL) board of directors -- something that actually happened last Friday, according to Apple's form 8-K filing with the SEC -- who will replace him?

Names of potential nominees have already started to pour in. Tim Cook -- who ran Apple during both of Steve Jobs' medical leaves -- would be our first choice, and he's the leading vote getter in 9to5Mac's reader poll (with 674 of 1,994 votes as of Tuesday morning).

Meanwhile, the newly revived Fake Steve Jobs spent Monday pretending to take calls from an even wider (and a lot funnier) field of candidates, from Henry Louis Gates (looking pretty silly on a Martha's Vineyard trike) to former Apple hardware chief and current Palm (PALM) CEO Jon Rubinstein (pictured with a Pre).

Below the fold: our handcapping some of the more serious the names we've seen so far.

  • Tim Cook. Apple COO. Nobody knows more about Apple's operations -- even Steve Jobs -- but with Jobs already at the table, the board may want an outsider.
  • Steve Wozniak. Apple co-founder. A sentimental favorite (and 9to5Mac's second highest vote getter), but he brings little to the table besides his name.
  • Larry Ellison. Oracle CEO. A old crony of Jobs', but he may be better known for his great wealth and extravagant lifestyle than his boardroom acumen.
  • Steve Spielberg. Co-founder of Dreamworks. No computer experience to speak of, but as one of America's most powerful directors, he could strengthen Apple's ties with Hollywood.
  • Mark Zuckerberg. Facebook CEO. Not much stage presence, but he would bring his social networking expertise, something Apple seems to lack.
  • Lee Clow. Chairman of TBWA\Worldwide. Co-creator of the 1984 Macintosh ad and the Think Different slogan (also the Energizer Bunny). He was one of 9to5Mac's nominees, but is marketing skill something Apple lacks these days?
  • Yong Nam, CEO LG Electronics. Another 9to5Mac nominee, this one may make more sense. He is, according to CNN.com, one of the top three players in the global electronics industry.

Here, for the record, are the current members of Apple's board:

  • Bill Campbell, chairman and former CEO of Intuit
  • Millard Drexler, CEO J. Crew
  • Al Gore, Former vice president of the United States
  • Steve Jobs, Apple CEO
  • Andrea Jung. CEO Avon Products
  • Arthur Levinson, chairman Genentech
  • Jerry York, CEO Harwinton Capital
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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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