Apple Director and IBM ex-CFO Jerome B. York is dead following his hospitalization yesterday, after a burst brain aneurysm. He joined Apple's board when Steve Jobs came back into the company. Needless to say, Steve is very sad:
Jerry joined Apple's Board in 1997 when most doubted the company's future. He has been a pillar of financial and business expertise and insight on our Board for over a dozen years. It's been a privilege to know and work with Jerry, and I'm going to miss him a lot.
Born in Memphis, Tennesse in 1938, York was instrumental in the turnaround of IBM and Chrysler, as well as Steve Jobs' return to the permanent CEO position at Apple. Like Jobs points out, he got into the company just when every rat was abandoning the ship. Back then, everyone thought it was a sinking. Even Michael Dell publicly declared—with a smile—that Jobs should liquidate the company and give the money back to the shareholders (later, Jobs made him eat his words, after Apple's capitalization surpassed Dell in January 2006).
York joined the Apple board, bringing in his good experience at IBM and Chrysler. During that time he had his own sour experience at MicroWarehouse: In 2000 he became CEO of the famous mail order company, after a $725 million takeover. It went bankrupt, and York announced his resignation.
But according to Jobs, inside Apple's board he was a great help in the Cupertino company's rebound at the beginning of this century. Judging by Steve's words, it seems that York is the antithesis of how Jobs might see Google's CEO and former Apple Director Eric Schmidt: A representation of Old school loyalty and honor vs New Valley treachery and trickiness.
Jerome B. York is survived by his wife Eilene York, four children, and six grandchildren. May he rest in peace.