Apple says longtime directors Al Gore and James Bell are retiring from the board

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Former Vice President Al Gore speaks during the Agriculture Innovation Mission (AIM) for Climate Summit at the JW Marriott on May 08, 2023 in Washington, DC.
Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images

Former Vice President Al Gore is leaving the Apple board in February after more than 20 years, the company said Thursday.

Gore, along with former Boeing CFO James Bell, will retire at the company’s annual shareholder meeting next month.They’ll be replaced by former Aerospace CEO Wanda Austin, pending a shareholder vote, the company said in an SEC filing.

Both Gore and Bell are retiring because they are now 75, and Apple’s policy forbids board members from being reelected at that age.

“For more than 20 years, Al has contributed an incredible amount to our work — from his unconditional support for protecting our users’ privacy, to his incomparable knowledge of environment and climate issues,” CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. “James’s dedication has been extraordinary, and we’re thankful for the important perspectives and deep expertise he’s offered on audit, finance, and so much more over the years.”

In his 21 years on the board, Gore has earned a fortune in stock awards. Gore owns 468,955 shares, which are currently valued at more than $87 million, according to the proxy filing. His total board compensation for 2023 was about $377,000, which included cash of $100,000 and stock awards of around $275,000.

Gore served on Apple’s compensation and corporate governance committees, according to SEC filings.

Bell, who was on Apple’s audit and finance committee, owns shares worth over $7 million. His annual compensation was similar to Gore’s pay.

Apple has nominated Austin, 69, for election to its board of directors. She was the Aerospace CEO from 2008 through 2016, and sits on the Amgen and Chevron boards. Austin has served on several government committees, including the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and the NASA Advisory Council.

Cook, 63, has stock units scheduled to vest through 2026, but has started to publicly discuss retirement and executive succession planning. He said in a podcast interview in November that Apple has detailed plans to pick its next CEO from within the company. Apple’s board is involved in that process.

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