Apple names former Genentech chief as new chairman

Arthur Levinson, formerly CEO of Genentech, is named as chairman of the board

Arthur Levinson, former CEO of biotech company Genentech, is taking on the chairmanship of Apple's board, filling the role that Apple founder Steve Jobs vacated when he died last month.

Apple also awarded a board seat to Robert Iger, president and CEO of The Walt Disney Company.

Levinson had been a "co-lead director" of Apple's board since 2005 and has served on the committees for audit and finance, nominating and corporate governance, and compensation, the company said.

He'll have to squeeze in his new duties among his many other board responsibilities. Levinson is also chairman of Genentech, where he was CEO until 2009. He's a director at Amyris, NGM Biopharmaceuticals, and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. He also serves on the Board of Scientific Consultants of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the Advisory Council for the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics.

Disney's Iger also has board seats with the National September 11 Memorial & Museum and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Apple has had a close relationship with Disney, which in 2006 purchased Pixar, the company that Jobs co-founded and led for a time as CEO. Jobs also served on the board of Disney.

The role of chairman of Apple's board opened up when Jobs died on Oct. 5 after a battle with cancer. He became chairman in August when he resigned as CEO.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

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