Apple's New Chairman Thinks The Company Needs To Be Less Arrogant

art levinson

Photo: AP

Apple made a small change to its board last night when it appointed Arthur Levinson to the role of non-executive chairman.(He was previously the co-leader of the board with Steve Jobs.)

Who is Levinson, and what will he do at Apple?

He was the CEO of biotech company Genentech until it was acquired by Roche in 2009 for $47 billion.

He’s been on Apple’s board since 2000, so don’t expect big changes. However, he believes Apple needs to adjust its attitude slightly.

He told Steve Jobs’ biographer Walter Isaacson, “There is an arrogance,” at Apple, and it needs to be tempered now that it’s the most valuable company in the world. “We need to make the transition to being a big company and dealing with the hubris issue.”

Other interesting tid-bits on Levinson from Isaacson:

  • He was one of the key people pushing for Apple to open up the iPhone to an App Store. “I called [Steve Jobs] a half dozen times to lobby for the potential of the apps,” Levinson told Isaacson. Jobs was reluctant to do an App Store because he didn’t want people mucking around with the iPhone.
  • Levinson was not crazy about the Apple Stores. When Jobs presented the idea to the board Levinson thought they would flop.
  • He consulted with Jobs about his cancer treatment.

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