Apple names former Northrop CEO to board

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc AAPL.O named former Northrop Grumman Corp NOC.N Chief Executive Officer Ronald Sugar as a director, bringing its board back up to seven members.

Apple director Jerry York died in April, and Google CEO Eric Schmidt resigned from Apple’s board in August 2009.

Sugar was chairman and CEO of defense contractor Northrop Grumman from 2003 until he retired in 2010. He also sits on the boards of Chevron CVX.N, Amgen AMGN.O and Air Lease, and is an advisor to the investment firm Ares Management LLC.

“Ron is an engineer at heart, who then became a very successful business leader,” Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in a statement. “We are very excited to welcome him to Apple’s Board.”

Sugar will chair the audit and finance committee.

In addition to Sugar and Jobs, Apple's board is comprised of Intuit INTU.O Chairman Bill Campbell, J. Crew JCG.N CEO Millard Drexler, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, Avon Products 4915.OS CEO Andrea Jung, and Genentech Chairman Arthur Levinson.

Shares of Cupertino, California-based Apple rose 0.5 percent to $302.96 in midday Nasdaq trading.

Reporting by Gabriel Madway; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn