susan_wagner2Apple just announced that longtime board member and former VP of Marketing Bill Campbell is leaving the company as founding partner and director of BlackRoc Susan L. Wagner joins the company’s board of directors. Apple CEO Tim Cook noted in the company’s press release today that he thinks Apple will benefit from Wagner’s experience with “M&A and building a global business across both developed and emerging markets.”

“Sue is a pioneer in the financial industry and we are excited to welcome her to Apple’s board of directors,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We believe her strong experience, especially in M&A and building a global business across both developed and emerging markets, will be extremely valuable as Apple continues to grow around the world.”

Apple chairman Art Levinson said the company “conducted an exhaustive search for someone who would further strengthen our board” before deciding on Wagner. “I’m confident that Sue is going to make an important and positive impact on our company.”

Earlier this month a report from The Wall Street Journal noted Tim Cook was actively looking to add new board members as six of the company’s seven are now aged 63 or older.

Campbell leaves the company to retire after 17 years and serving as a board member (the longest serving at the company ever) since Steve Jobs returned in 1997. Apple notes in its press release below that Campbell first joined the company in 1983 as the Vice President of Marketing:

“Bill’s contributions to Apple are immeasurable and we owe him a huge debt of gratitude. On behalf of the board and the entire company, I want to thank him for being a leader, a mentor and a friend,” said Cook. “When Bill joined Apple’s board, the company was on the brink of collapse. He not only helped Apple survive, but he’s led us to a level of success that was simply unimaginable back in 1997.”

Apple’s full press release is below:

Sue Wagner Joins Apple’s Board of Directors

Bill Campbell Retiring After 17 Years of Service

CUPERTINO, Calif. –Apple® today announced that Susan L. Wagner, founding partner and director of BlackRock, has been elected to Apple’s board of directors. Bill Campbell, the board’s longest-serving member, is retiring after 17 years of service.

“When Bill joined Apple’s board, the company was on the brink of collapse. He not only helped Apple survive, but he’s led us to a level of success that was simply unimaginable back in 1997.”

Wagner co-founded BlackRock in 1988 and helped it become one of the world’s most successful asset-management companies, holding a range of leadership positions including vice chairman until mid-2012. She continues to serve on the boards of BlackRock and DSP BlackRock (India), as well as Swiss Re, Wellesley College and Hackley School.

“Sue is a pioneer in the financial industry and we are excited to welcome her to Apple’s board of directors,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We believe her strong experience, especially in M&A and building a global business across both developed and emerging markets, will be extremely valuable as Apple continues to grow around the world.”

“We conducted an exhaustive search for someone who would further strengthen our board’s breadth of talent and background, and we are delighted to have identified such an outstanding individual,” said Art Levinson, Apple’s chairman. “I’m confident that Sue is going to make an important and positive impact on our company.”

“I have always admired Apple for its innovative products and dynamic leadership team, and I’m honored to be joining their board,” said Wagner. “I have tremendous respect for Tim, Art and the other board members, and I look forward to working with them.”

Wagner graduated with honors from Wellesley College with a BA in English and Economics, and earned an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago. She has been recognized as one of Fortune Magazine’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business and honored by the National Council for Research on Women. At BlackRock, she championed and continues to support the Women’s Initiative Network, designed to foster the full potential of women within the company.

Bill Campbell’s relationship with Apple dates back to 1983, when he joined the company as vice president of Marketing. Next to Apple co-founders Steve Jobs and Mike Markkula, Campbell is the longest-serving board member in the company’s history.

“Bill’s contributions to Apple are immeasurable and we owe him a huge debt of gratitude. On behalf of the board and the entire company, I want to thank him for being a leader, a mentor and a friend,” said Cook. “When Bill joined Apple’s board, the company was on the brink of collapse. He not only helped Apple survive, but he’s led us to a level of success that was simply unimaginable back in 1997.”

“Over the past 17 years, it’s been exciting to watch history unfold as Apple emerged as the premier technology company in the world. Working with Steve and Tim has been a joy,” said Campbell. “The company today is in the best shape that I have seen it, and Tim’s leadership of his strong team will allow Apple to continue to be great going forward.”

Apple designs Macs, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.

(Image via TIME)