Lisa Jackson, meet Apple.
The biggest piece of new information that Apple CEO Tim Cook dropped last night at the D11 conference: That he's hired Jackson, former head of the Environmental Protection Agency, to lead Apple's green efforts.
The move strikes me as both bold and risky.
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It's bold because in Jackson, Cook gains a high-profile and well-connected chemical engineer who is well-versed in policy. Apple's environmental footprint is immense; the company literally produces and packages more than 100 million devices every year, most of them iPhones and iPads.
Apple has the largest non-utility solar power farm in the country, and is one of the biggest customers of Bloom Energy's fuel cell power generation products. If she gets it right, Jackson could be the most influential corporate environmental policy executive in the world.
Which is why the Jackson hire is also risky. Jackson's career and experience has been in government, not Silicon Valley, and Apple's culture has some pretty strong antibodies. For Jackson to be successful, she's going to have to move to Silicon Valley, transform herself into a product-driven executive and spend as much time as possible with Jony Ive, the head of industrial design, and Bob Mansfield, the senior VP of technologies at Apple, from day one.
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