At the AllThingsD conference in Hong Kong this week, former Vice President, and currentApple board member, Al Gore chatted with Walt Mossberg about a number of issues. He had a few things to say about Apple in the post-Steve Jobs era, the most important of which is that he thinks Apple has strong management and a bright future.
Walt Mossberg Interviews Apple Board Member Al Gore
Mr. Gore’s first comments were on the passing of Mr. Jobs. He described the memorial service as a “beautiful and moving event.” And while acknowledging that the loss is terrible, he thinks that Mr. Jobs greatest work was the building of Apple Inc. itself.
He was also asked about the management team at Apple. Mr. Gore said that each of the team members could be a CEO of a world-class organization. When asked about the possibility of them leaving to do that very thing, Mr. Gore said it was something the Apple board was keenly aware of and that they paid close attention to it. (Mr. Gore is on the compensation committee of the Apple board.)
When asked about how Apple will fare without Steve Jobs at the fore, Mr. Gore responded that no one will be able to replace him. He also said that Mr. Jobs made it clear that the board should make its own decisions going forward and not play the “What would Steve do?” game.
As for the board itself, Mr. Gore expressed his admiration for his fellow board members. He said that he wouldn’t change a thing about the way it has operated and feels that board members handled the privacy, medical, and succession issues quite well, all while avoiding tipping his hat as to how the board operated or what it was concerned with at the present time.
“I have the deepest respect for my fellow board members, we’re all very good friends… I think that people who specialize in kibitzing about these things — I respect them, it’s good for them to think about this kind of stuff, but I wouldn’t change a thing about the way the Apple board has operated.”
Mr. Gore also spoke about his role as a Google advisor. He said that he doesn’t involve himself in discussions on anything relating to any business Apple is in, and that this has resulted in him having fewer conversations with Larry Page and other members of Google’s management.
For those interested, the former U.S. Vice President also spoke at length on the environment, TV (he is a partner in Current TV), the role of journalism and information, China as a U.S. competitor, and much more.