Tonight, BusinessWeek just published a story I co-wrote my with my colleague Jena McGregor about Apple’s board of directors and the not-so-hot job they have done at succession planning, and grooming a successor to Steve Jobs. The story is called: Apple Succession Plan: Nobody’s Business?
Here is the beginning of the piece:
Apple Succession Plan: Nobody’s Business?
Steve Jobs’ health is a material concern, many argue, and investors deserve reassurance about who will eventually replace him and how
By Spencer E. Ante and Jena McGregor
Ask Apple (AAPL) about succession planning for CEO Steve Jobs and you’ll quickly get the message: We have a plan, but we’re not sharing it with you.
Now, Apple may need to start sharing more. News that Jobs will take a leave of absence because of health problems and turn day-to-day operations to Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook has renewed concerns that the company and its board haven’t been forthcoming enough about plans for Jobs’ permanent replacement. “When there is some sort of disruption at the company, it’s the obligation of the board to let everybody know they are on top of it, and that everything is in good hands,” says Nell Minow, co-founder of The Corporate Library, a corporate governance research firm.
Leadership experts say uncertainty over Jobs’ health underscores the need for clear communication of a well-defined succession plan by Apple’s star-studded board of directors, which includes Genentech (DNA) CEO Arthur Levinson and Google (GOOG) CEO Eric Schmidt. The board now ought to release a “better, clearer announcement” about the chain of command, Minow says. Apple declined to comment for the story, and board members, all of whom were contacted by BusinessWeek, either didn’t respond to requests for comment or declined to comment.