After 17 years, Bill Campbell steps down from Apple’s board

A great coach, steps back …a little.


Bill Campbell recalls Steve Jobs’ invitation to join Apple’s board of directors as the kind of request that “takes your breath away.”

It was 1997, shortly after Jobs had returned to Apple. Jobs and Campbell were neighbors in Palo Alto, and Jobs would frequently take walks on weekends and knock on Campbell’s door. Sometimes Jobs simply would wander into Campbell’s backyard and sit down by the pool. “He came by one day, and we sat on a bench by the pool,” Campbell says, “and he said, ‘I’d like you to join the Apple board.’ The only time I’ve had a rush like that was when I was asked to be a trustee of Columbia University. I said, without hesitation, ‘For sure.’ ”

After 17 years as a director—and a history dating back three decades to when he first became an Apple marketing executive—Campbell plans to end his formal association with…

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