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Susan Wagner joins Apple board as Bill Campbell steps down

Long-standing Apple director Bill Campbell is stepping down after announcing his retirement from the board. He will be replaced by former BlackRock vice chairman Susan Wagner.

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, said the following on Wagner’s appointment:

“Sue is a pioneer in the financial industry and we are excited to welcome her to Apple’s board of directors. We believe her strong experience, especially in M&A and building a global business across both developed and emerging markets, will be extremely valuable as Apple continues to grow around the world.”

Wagner will be the second woman ever to join the board, following the appointment of CEO Andrea Jung in 2008. Campbell meanwhile, had been on the board for 17 years.

After getting a degree in English and Economics from Wellesley College, Wagner then went on to get an MBA in finance from Chicago. In 1988 she co-founded Blackrock; a massively successful asset management company – the biggest in the world – which she worked with until 2012.

Wagner’s experience in ‘emerging markets’ means Apple will have the expertise to capitalize on future tech releases, a skill that Steve Jobs was renowned for, and could see the company regain some of the flair that some commentators have noted as being absent in recent years.

For the average Apple user, this could well mean new technology and apps. Wagner’s skills in M&A (mergers and acquisition) will further increase the company’s capability to absorb smaller firms, acquire new assets, and release new apps in cooperation with other companies. It might also drive greater development in emerging devices like the iWatch and other potential future gadgetry.

There will be no shortage of pressure on Wagner, either. Campbell’s act is a tough one to follow; renowned as one of the key players in getting Apple out of financial difficulty in the 90s, he has been a permanent fixture on the board ever since.

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