Apple's board of directors welcomes space program expert — Dr. Wanda Austin joins as Al Gore departs

WWDC 2023 Apple Park
(Image credit: CIDER)

Apple has announced it is welcoming the president and CEO of The Aerospace Corporation, Dr. Wanda Austion, to its board of directors. Meanwhile, Al Gore and James Bell are both set to retire at the age of 75. 

Apple announced the move by way of a press release Thursday, stating, “Apple today announced Dr. Wanda Austin, former president and CEO of The Aerospace Corporation, has been nominated for election to Apple’s board of directors. Dr. Austin brings decades of science and technology experience to her role, and she has a significant track record of advancing innovation and shaping corporate strategy.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook hailed Austin’s track record, having “spent decades advancing technology on behalf of humanity,” and praised her as “an extraordinary leader” with “invaluable experience and expertise.” 

A reshuffle ahead of a big launch

As noted, Apple is also saying goodbye to some board members, notably Al Gore. Both he and James Bell will leave the board in line with Apple’s “longstanding policy that directors generally may not stand for reelection after reaching age 75.”

Apple has not updated its board of directors roster on its website, but the remaining members as it stands should include Calico founder and CEO Arthur D. Levinson, Johnson & Johnson former executive chair Alex Gorsky, Andrea Jung, Monica Lozano, Ronald D. Sugar, and Susan L. Wagner. 

Tim Cook also sits on the board as Apple CEO. This week, it was reported that Cook’s annual compensation package fell sharply by some 36% to a paltry $63.2 million in 2023, down from the $99.4 million he made in FY 2022. Despite this, estimates maintain he is worth almost $2 billion, having accumulated much of his wealth through stock options received from the company.

Apple’s board reshuffle comes prior to the company’s biggest new product launch in recent memory. Apple Vision Pro comes to U.S. stores on February 2, with pre-orders opening on January 19. The $3,499 spatial computing headset will offer collaboration and communication tools as well as immersive gaming and content. With its hefty price tag, the launch will be limited in comparison to Apple’s other products, such as its best iPhone, the iPhone 15, with only 60-80,000 units expected to be available at launch. 

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Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9