Apple names Arthur Levinson non-exec chair

Nov 15, 2011 By RYAN NAKASHIMA and MICHAEL LIEDTKE , AP Business Writers
In this July 31, 2006 file photo, Genentech Chairman Arthur Levinson is shown at the company's headquarters in San Francisco. Apple on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011 named Levinson, a board member since 2000, as its chairman. (AP Photo/Kimberly White, Pool, File)

(AP) -- Apple Inc. has named Arthur Levinson as its non-executive chairman, a move that rewards the longtime Apple board member who chose it over Google Inc. when the technology giants began to compete with each other.

Levinson, 61, fills the vacancy left open when co-founder Steve Jobs died last month at age 56 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Jobs had been chairman for less than two months, a position created when he stepped down as chief executive in August.

Robert Iger, president and CEO of The ., was tapped as a director.

The appointments were announced Tuesday.

Levinson is chairman of . He showed his loyalty in 2009 when a pressured him to choose between keeping his board seat at or at Internet search leader Inc., when the companies had become rivals in mobile devices and Web browsers.

Levinson said in a statement that he was honored to be named Apple's chairman.

"Apple is always focused on out-innovating itself ... and that is something I am very proud to be a part of," he said.

Levinson's allegiance may have been especially appreciated by Jobs, who had become convinced that Google stole iPhone's innovative touch-screen operating system to develop its own platform called Android.

Jobs' antipathy toward Google and its former CEO, , was well documented during interviews he gave with his biographer, . Schmidt was an Apple board member for three years until he resigned in August 2009 as the rivalry between the two companies grew. Levinson resigned from Google's board two months later.

Levinson joined Genentech as a research scientist in 1980 and led it as chief executive from 1995 to 2009. Levinson has been co-lead director on Apple Inc.'s board since 2005, serving as co-lead director with Avon Products Inc. CEO Andrea Jung. Levinson joined Apple's board in 2000.

Disney's Iger repaired frayed relations between Jobs and Disney after he took the reins of the media company in 2005, first by making ABC shows available on iTunes, and then by leading Disney's acquisition of computer animated movie studio Pixar for $7.4 billion. The Pixar deal made Jobs Disney's largest shareholder.

Tim Cook, Apple's , said Levinson has made "enormous contributions" to the company since joining the board, saying "his insight and leadership are incredibly valuable."

Cook said that Iger, 60, was "a great fit for Apple" because his stewardship of Disney is based on principles that Apple shares - generating creative content, using new technology and expanding into new markets around the world.

"I am extremely pleased to join the board of such a wonderful company," Iger said in a statement. "Over the years, I have come to know and admire the management team, now ably led by Tim Cook, and I am confident they have the leadership and vision to ensure Apple's continued momentum and success."

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sherriffwoody
not rated yet Nov 16, 2011
He looks down syndrome. Must be to work for crapple.

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