James A. Bell, former chief financial officer and corporate president of the Boeing Co., has been elected to Apple’s board of directors, according to a statement from Apple.
During his 38-year tenure at Boeing, he also oversaw Boeing Capital Corp. and Boeing Shared Services, and he was interim CEO of the Boeing Co. in 2005, Apple’s statement says. He brings to Apple’s board “experience in finance, strategic planning and leadership in complex organizations,” the company states.
“I am an avid user of Apple products and have a tremendous respect for the company’s ability to innovate,” Bell said in the statement. “I am delighted to join the Apple board and look forward to contributing to its continued success in any way I can.”
The move comes amid widening criticism from black leaders about the dearth of minority talent and leaders in Silicon Valley in the San Francisco Bay Area, home to scores of start-up and global technology companies. Members of the Congressional Black Caucus have been pushing tech companies to recruit more blacks for employment as well as to serve on corporate boards.
In August, Apple said it was making efforts to hire more women and underrepresented minorities, recruiting more diverse candidates in the past 12 months than in any previous year, but overall there was little change in the demographics of the company, which is overwhelmingly male and white, USA Today reported Thursday.
“James brings a wealth of global, financial and industrial experience from his successful career at Boeing as corporate president and CFO,” Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, said in the statement. “I am thrilled to welcome him to Apple’s board of directors and I look forward to working with him.”
Bell is a member of the board of directors of JPMorgan Chase, Dow Chemical and CDW and a trustee of Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center.