October 3, 2002 4:51 PM PDT

Jobs leaves Gap's board

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Apple CEO Steve Jobs has stepped down from the board of retail clothing company Gap, a move that could help lessen criticism over the independence of both companies' boards.

Departing Gap CEO Millard Drexler serves on Apple's board, which had created what is known as interlocking board membership--a sticking point among corporate governance experts.

Gap and Apple were both on a recent BusinessWeek list of U.S. companies with the worst boards.

An Apple representative declined to comment on the governance issues, saying that Jobs decided to pursue other interests now that Gap's CEO transition is complete. Last week, Gap named Disney executive Paul Pressler to replace Drexler as CEO. A Gap representative did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Last month, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison stepped down from Apple's board. Ellison had come under fire for his spotty attendance record at Apple board meetings. Apple has also been criticized because another of its board members, Jerome York, is CEO of MicroWarehouse, a major Apple reseller.

Jobs was replaced on Gap's board by former Coca-Cola executive Penny Hughes.

"On behalf of the board, I'd like to thank Steve for his contributions," Gap Chairman Donald Fisher said in a statement.


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