After facing criticism “that its board is too close-knit,” Apple will hold its first shareholder meeting tomorrow with a new co-lead director: Avon Products CEO Andrea Jung, notes “Bloomberg” (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=conewsstory&tkr=AAPL%3AUS&sid=azX38I0O7LqA).
Jung is the newest director and only woman serving on the seven-member board. She took over as co-lead in December and succeeds former Apple executive Bill Campbell, chairman of Intuit.
The handoff to Jung follows complaints by corporate- governance experts that Jobs had too much sway over a group of hand-picked directors, says “Bloomberg.” That may have affected the limited disclosures about Jobs’s health last year, when he had a liver transplant, said Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a dean at Yale University’s School of Management. Jung’s elevation to co-lead director gives a more independent voice to the board, he said.
“This is a really good move and I applaud them,” Sonnenfeld, who studies corporate-governance issues at the school in New Haven, Connecticut, told “Bloomberg.” “I don’t know if this shows contrition, but they are moving forward.”
At Avon, Jung is responsible for developing and executing all of the company’s long-term growth strategies, launching new brand initiatives, developing earnings opportunities for women worldwide, and defining Avon as the premier direct seller of beauty products. She was elected president of global marketing in 1996, an executive vice president in 1997, president and a director of the company in 1998, chief operating officer from 1998 to 1999, chief executive officer in 1999 and chairman of the board in 2001. Previously, she was executive vice president of Neiman Marcus and a senior vice president for I. Magnin.
Jung is a magna cum laude graduate of Princeton University, is fluent in Mandarin and was the first woman elected chair of the Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association in March 2001, a role she held until early 2005. She also serves on the board of directors of the General Electric Company and is a member of the New York Presbyterian Hospital board of trustees and the Catalyst board of directors.
(Photo courtesy of “Fortune magazine”: http://www.timeinc.net/fortune/conferences/womens05/program.html)