New products shown to Apple's board 6-18 months before they launch

By on February 20, 2013, 3:00 PM

During a recent speech at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, chairman of Apple’s board Arthur D. Levinson said members of the board are typically presented with new products anywhere between six and 18 months before they are revealed to the general public.

Board members usually don’t have much input with regards to new products but in the event that there is enough time before launch, opinions are sometimes taken into consideration. What’s more, if a specific board member happens to have expertise in a particular field, their advice may be more influential.

As Levinson describes, it’s not the board’s job to define product specifications. Their job is to be a sounding board and serve as resource, not to get in the way of the CEO or the executive team. Ultimately, he said, the board’s job is to hire and fire the CEO.

The chairman also addressed his role of running the board following the death of co-founder Steve Jobs. He said the experience has been weird and that he’s still not to the point where he walks into the board room and doesn’t miss Jobs. Levinson noted that Jobs was a one of a kind guy and that the Jobs the public knew was not the same Steve Jobs he knew.

Levinson became chairman of the board in November 2011 shortly after Steve Jobs passed away. The executive also serves as the chairman for Genentech, Inc. and is on the board of directors for Roche, a pharmaceutical firm.

User Comments: 3

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1 person liked this | RH00D RH00D said:

So their only job is to hire and fire the CEO and after they fired Steve Jobs they would've been non-existent if not for Microsoft's investment and Steve Jobs returning.

...They had one job and messed it up catastrophically.

Guest said:

I have a suggestion for Mr. Levinson.

Apple was issued USPTO patent D676438 yesterday, 02/19/2013 for an Electronic Device. Prior to last summer there was a locking slot called a USS - universal security slot. USS was provided for free by Apple to lock their MBP using a locking device supplied by others. New MBPR does not have USS. MBPR users now must purchase from others a really big and clumsy locking station provided with a USS.

Apple receives and this is only my guess zero, nada or nothing from others securing an Apple MBPR. Apple has exclusive IP rights to sale of Lightning Cables why not an Apple locking device for MBPR?

Mr. Levinson, call ACCO Brands and make an exclusive arrangement to use Clicksafe or Microsaver for Apple's exclusive IP rights to my patent pending locking device for

OortCloud said:


Stop talking about corporations and discuss technology and products I'm so bored of this corporate obsession that the web has. People no longer make a decision on whether to buy something based on the product itself, just the corporation which made it. Why should we give a sh1t what Apple do in their boardroom? Or are we meant to pretend this means something to us and we can infer something about what they produce from this slice of nothing?

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