It’s been over 16 months since Steve Jobs passed away, leaving Apple without its inspirational leader. Even though the company has released a number of new products and reported record-breaking sales, some of Steve’s closest friends at the company still miss him.
Apple’s chairman, Art Levinson, was a close friend and colleague of Steve Jobs, and he’s been on Apple’s Board of Directors since 2000. So when he was recently asked what it’s like running the company’s Board now that Steve’s gone, Levinson only had one word to describe it: “weird.”
Levinson was interviewed Tuesday afternoon at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business where he talked about Jobs, Apple’s earnings reports, and what it’s like to be on Apple’s board now that Steve’s gone.
I’m still not to the point where I walk into that board room and don’t miss Steve. He was a one of a kind guy… The Steve Jobs that was in the public eye was not, for the most part, the Steve Jobs that I knew.
Art also gave some insight as to whether the Board gets to dictate the direction of new products. While he said that new products are shown to the Board between 6 and 18 months before their launch, they really don’t have much influence over the design or specs.
The Board is not there to define product specs. It’s there as a sounding board. It’s there as a resource. And ultimately, the board is there to hire and fire the CEO.
Even though Apple’s had some road bumps over the past year with Tim Cook at the helm — mostly Apple Maps — things have been going pretty well, so it sounds like the Board won’t have to do much work for a while.