Apple on Thursday announced the entry of the former chief financial officer and corporate president of the Boeing Company into its board of directors. Bell worked at Boeing for 38 years.
Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, said that the new board member will bring immense experience in global, financial, and industrial matters. He said that he was “thrilled to welcome him” into Apple’s board, and that he was looking forward to working with him.
Apple’s chairman, Art Levinson, said that the company was looking for exceptional individuals to bring broader talent and knowledge into the company’s board. He said that he was optimistic that Bell would play an important role in the affairs of the technology giant.
Bell is credited with navigating Boeing, the world’s largest airplane maker, through difficult times. At the time of retirement from Boeing, Bell was the most senior African American executive in the plane-maker’s history. Bell possesses a wealth of experience in manufacturing.
He attained a bachelor’s degree in accounting at California State University, and he is a member of several corporate boards, including Dow Chemical Company, CDW, and JP Morgan Chase. He has also served on several boards for community-based organizations.
Bell, who served as chief executive officer at Boeing in 2005, said he was happy to join a company whose products he avidly uses, and which he respects for its innovativeness. He added that he was looking forward to helping the company succeed.
Cook is committed to diversifying Apple in many aspects, and electing a prominent African American to the board of the most valuable tech firm in the world helps accomplish that goal. Apple announced in August that it was making headway in employing women and minorities, and diversifying its workforce in the past 12 months. The firm has about 100,000 employees.
Major tech firms are diversifying their hiring too. Hewlett-Packard announced last month that it would add one African American into each of the two boards that will form after the firm breaks into two companies this November.
As Apple continues to succeed financially, its shareholders have shown remarkable confidence in its board. In this year’s annual shareholder meeting, the investors overwhelmingly reelected most of the company’s board members.