Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) announced the retirement of Bill Campbell, its longest-serving director. He served the board of directors of the company for 17 years. Campbell joined Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) in 1983 as vice president of marketing.

In a statement, Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)  Cook said, “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.”

Cook also emphasized, “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.”

According to Campbell, it’s been a joy for him to work with late Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs and its current CEO Cook. He said, “It’s been exciting to watch history unfolds as Apple emerged as the premier technology company in the world. 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.”

BlackRock’s founding partner joins Apple’s board

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) also announced that Susan L. Wagner, the founding partner and director of global investment management firm, BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK) has been appointed to join its board of directors.

Cook said, “Sue is a pioneer in the financial industry and we are excited to welcome her to Apple’s board of directors.” He added that the leadership of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) believe that Wagner’s strong experience particularly in M&A and building a global business across developed and emerging will be extremely valuable as the company continues to grow worldwide.

Apple board conducted exhaustive search

On the other hand, Apple Chairman Art Levinson said the board of directors of the company “conducted an exhaustive search” for an executive who would further strengthen its breadth or talent and background.

“We are delighted to have identified such an outstanding individual. I’m confident that Sue is going to make an important and positive impact on our company,” said Levinson.

In 1988, Wagner co-founder BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK) and helped it to become one of the most successful investment management firms worldwide. She held different leadership positions at BlackRock including vice chairman until mid-2012.

Wagner is still serving in the board of directors of BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK), and DSP BlackRock (India). She also serves in the boards of Swiss Re, Wellesley College and Hackley School.

Commenting on her appointment to the board of directors of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Wagner said, “I have always admired Apple for its innovative products and dynamic leadership team, and I’m honored to be joining their board. I have tremendous respect for Tim, Art and the other board members, and I look forward to working with them.”