What does Steve Jobs’ chairman role mean for Apple?


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Steve Jobs’ resignation as Apple Inc.’s CEO might seem like a step out of the spotlight at the world’s largest company. But it is possible that little may change with the executive shuffle at Apple.

As CEO, Jobs’ bosses -- who he had to answer to -- were technically Apple’s board of directors and shareholders. Jobs was also a member of the Apple board, but recently Apple had not listed anyone as Apple’s official chairman. Instead, Apple listed two co-lead directors of the board; Andrea Jung, chairwoman and CEO of Avon Products Inc., and Arthur D. Levinson, chairman and CEO of Genentech Inc. Now Jobs is the chairman of the board.


Photos: Steve Jobs and Apple’s influence

Jobs hasn’t been running Apple’s day to day operations since January, when he handed over those responsibilities to Tim Cook, the company’s former chief operating officer who has been voted in as CEO by Apple’s board.

Despite being on a leave of absence for medical reasons, the details of which have remained private, Jobs has remained involved in some of Apple’s biggest decisions this year. For example, it was Jobs who unveiled the iPad 2 in March, not Cook.

As for who will announce and show off the iPhone 5 or iPad 3, Cook or Jobs, that remains to be seen.

In being promoted from COO to CEO, Tim Cook has also been given a seat on Apple’s board, just as Jobs had.

The addition of Tim Cook to the board ups the number of directors from seven to eight. All other directors remain.


Besides Jung and Levinson, the other directors are William V. Campbell, chairman of Intuit Inc.; Millard S. Drexler, chairman and CEO of J. Crew; former Vice President Al Gore; and Ronald D. Sugar, former chairman and CEO or Northrop Grumman Corp.


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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles and Thomas Suh Lauder


Photo (top): Apple’s then-CEO and current chairman, Steve Jobs, holds the iPhone 4 during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference last year in San Francisco. Credit: Paul Sakuma/AP Photo

Photo (bottom): Before and after screen shots of Apple’s board of director listings. Credit: Apple Inc.