One of the smartest moves former VP Al Gore ever made was joining Apple’s board.
As Gary Rivlin observes at the Daily Beast, in addition to basking in the glow of Apple coolness, Gore has collected $50,000 a year in cash and cashed out of $2 million-worth of options for his service. And he’s sitting on tens of millions of dollars of additional Apple options, the value of which increases by the day.
Of course, you can’t be Al Gore without annoying people.
And some of the people Al Gore has annoyed in recent years include a think-tank called National centre For Public Policy Research.
In 2009, Apple quit the Chamber of Commerce to protest the Chamber’s stance against “cap and trade” legislation designed to control greenhouse gas emissions.
Accordiing to Gary Rivlin, the NCPPR thinks Apple did this to boost the value of Al Gore’s green investments and the prospects for Al Gore’s venture-capital firm, Kleiner Perkins, which has invested in a lot of clean-tech companies.
That theory sounds ridiculous. Apple has a huge board of directors, of which Al Gore is only one member. Just because Apple and Gore appear to feel the same way about this issue doesn’t mean that Gore is misusing his board vote.
But, again, you can’t crusade for corporate and environmental responsibility while getting paid huge corporate bucks without annoying people.
(And the really annoying thing, of course, is that Gore gets to play with all those cool new Apple gadgets before you do.)