Apple Inc. AAPL on Thursday announced that two board members, Al Gore and James Bell, are retiring, while a new nominee, Wanda Austin, has been proposed for election.
What Happened: Apple said that the former U.S. Vice President Gore, who has been a board member since 2003, and Bell, a retired Boeing executive who joined the board in 2015, are both stepping down, reported The Wall Street Journal.
As per Apple’s policy, board members are not up for re-election after reaching the age of 75, which both Gore and Bell have reached. Wanda Austin, the former CEO of the nonprofit The Aerospace Corporation, is the proposed nominee to fill one of the vacant positions.
Despite the age policy, Ron Sugar, another longtime board member and the chair of the audit committee, has been asked by the company to remain on the board.
Why It Matters: Gore’s departure from Apple’s board comes after a tumultuous period for the company. In February 2023, the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), a corporate ethics watchdog, called for the removal of both Gore and Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, from the board, citing underperformance issues.
Despite this, Cook expressed his gratitude for Gore’s contributions.
“For more than 20 years, Al has contributed an incredible amount to our work—from his unconditional support for protecting our users’ privacy, to his incomparable knowledge of environment and climate issues.”
Meanwhile, for the first time since 2021, Apple Inc. is no longer the most valuable public company in the world, losing the crown to rival Microsoft Corporation, which has been helped by its investments in artificial intelligence.
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