Apple board out of school on Jobs succession?

Apple's board of directors are reportedly conducting due diligence on the succession plan for CEO Steve Jobs.

Apple's board of directors are reportedly conducting due diligence on the succession plan for CEO Steve Jobs.

According to the Wall Street Journal, some members of Apple's board have approached executive recruiters about a replacement for Jobs. The problem: These members weren't acting on the board's behalf and Jobs called the discussions "hogwash."

The timing of such a report is notable given the story launched a half hour before Apple's quarterly earnings report.

As the Journal noted, it's odd that the board appears to be split on the succession plan for Jobs, who is on medical leave. It's unclear whether Jobs will return full time.

A few thoughts:

  • The board is doing its job pondering succession planning, but a dent in the secrecy around Apple is notable.
  • In many respects, the board is just conducting its due diligence even though Apple's next probable CEO---Tim Cook---is already in the fold.
  • The report indicates that there could be some concern about Apple's bench strength on the management team. However, it should be noted that Apple showed off that bench as it had a relay team conducting the company's WWDC keynote.
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