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Tim Cook Should Nominate These 3 Innovators to Apple's Board of Directors

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- According to a recent Wall Street Journal report, Tim Cook is actively seeking new directors to add to Apple's (AAPL - Get Report) board.

But who would be the best choice?

Looking at the composition of the current Apple board, six of the board's seven outside directors are age 63 or older. Many of them have served more than a decade on the board and were known for their explicit loyalty to Steve Jobs. Two directors, Intuit's (INTU) chief executive Bill Campbell and J. Crew's chief executive Millard "Mickey" Drexler, have sat on the board since the late 1990s. There is only one woman and there are no people of color.

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The Apple board mirrors Silicon Valley's lack of business leadership diversity -- it is mostly white and mostly male. It is no wonder that Tim Cook is looking to infuse the Apple Board with new membership, more diverse in its composition and sympathetic to his style of leadership and vision for the future.

There has been speculation that Cook might try to add members to the board who share his own progressive social agenda. Since taking over, he has pushed Apple to be more environmentally friendly and philanthropic. Cook implemented a donation-matching program, a move that Jobs had long resisted. Tim Cook has also been a vocal proponent of gay rights and workplace equality.

Tim Cook has spent 13 years with the company in logistics and operations. Whereas Steve Jobs' main focus was "creating great products," Cook's approach to running the company has been more low-key and strategic.

So why not add board members who are more tech-savvy, entrepreneurial and with diverse backgrounds in order to add value to the discussion and act as a valuable sounding board?

I don't know who Tim Cook has in mind. But here are some potential board members who could benefit Apple.

The Disruptor: Elon Musk

CNBC recently published its list of 50 industry disruptors -- private companies in 27 industries whose innovations are revolutionizing the business landscape. Steve Jobs was an industry disruptor.

Who is a current-day Steve Jobs?

Some say it is Elon Musk. He is the poster boy for product innovation and out-of-the-box ideas, definitely an industry disruptor. His company SpaceX is at the top of CNBC's Disruptor List. The public companies he is involved with are also disruptors: Tesla (TSLA) and Solar City (SCTY). Apple's board of directors could use a disruptor like Elon Musk to "shake things up" like Steve Jobs used to do.

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YHOO $37.12 1.17%

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