AFL-CIO Wants Jobs Off Disney Board

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Disney’s annual shareholder meeting is scheduled for March 23, and the AFL-CIO is voting against retaining Apple CEO Steve Jobs on the entertainment company’s board of directors. The organization is against re-electing Mr. Jobs to the board because of the number of meetings he’s missed thanks to his health-related issues, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Steve Jobs on stageApple CEO Steve Jobs speaking at a 2010 media event

Institutional Shareholder Services isn’t keen on retaining Mr. Jobs, either, although the organization isn’t going so far as to advise its clients to vote against him. “Jobs’ poor attendance in three of the past four years, and recent leave of absence from his primary employer, raises questions about his ability to fulfill his responsibilities as a director of the company,” ISS said.

Mr. Jobs has attended less than three quarters of Disney’s board meetings over the past three years, according to ISS.

Mr. Jobs landed a seat on Disney’s board when the company bought Pixar Entertainment. The deal also made Mr. Jobs the single largest shareholder with a 7 percent stake in the company.

Health-related issues have kept Mr. Jobs away from several meetings, according to Disney. He battled pancreatic cancer in 2004, received a liver transplant in 2009, has been on extended medical leave from Apple on more than one occasion, and is currently on medical leave again.

Despite the AFL-CIO vote and the ISS concerns, however, Mr. Jobs is expected to be re-elected to the Disney board of directors.

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Comments

Tiger

I’m guessing the ADA doesn’t count for board membership.

jfbiii

Isn’t ISS the same group bitching about the non-public CEO succession policy? it sounds more like they have an issue with Steve more than anything. It wouldn’t surprise me to find out that there’s an underlying issue with the AFL/CIO, too.

geoduck

They have a point. The BOD is there to work for the company. If someone, for whatever reason, can’t be there to do the job, no matter how great or brilliant he may be, they are not doing the job. The BOD is not a perk, it’s an important part of a well run company. I think I tend to side with the AFL-CIO on this one.

nealg

They have a point. The BOD is there to work for the company. If someone, for whatever reason, can?t be there to do the job, no matter how great or brilliant he may be, they are not doing the job. The BOD is not a perk, it?s an important part of a well run company. I think I tend to side with the AFL-CIO on this one.

They do have a point I agree. But one of the things they are missing, in my opinion, is that SJ brings a great deal of knowledge to the board about where technology is going and how an entertainment company like Disney can take advantage of these trends. This is really invaluable to a company like Disney where they can be at the forefront of technology again, instead of always bringing up the rear.

The other thing that we don’t know is how much of the board’s business is really involved in. I am sure that SJ is aware of the important decisions that are being made and makes sure that he gives his input.

Neal

furbies

geoduck said:They have a point. The BOD is there to work for the company. If someone, for whatever reason, can?t be there to do the job, no matter how great or brilliant he may be, they are not doing the job. The BOD is not a perk, it?s an important part of a well run company. I think I tend to side with the AFL-CIO on this one.
They do have a point I agree. But one of the things they are missing,

The other is that Jobs hold 7% of the stock….

Could he send a proxy to meetings ?

“Wall?E reporting for duty Sir!”

Bryan Chaffin

Geoduck’s comments hit the nail on the head.  I would put zero chance on either the union or ISS having an issue with Mr. Jobs on any kind of personal level.

A board’s business is almost entirely conducted at its meetings, and if Mr. Jobs isn’t there to have his voice hear, his ability to contribute is less than what it could be.

That said, how much slack does he get for being Steve Jobs? The answer to that is a lot, and I expect him to get re-elected this year, despite his health issues.

Still, I think it’s a fair point for any shareholder to raise.

wickham

I can see the shareholder’s point about the need for board members to be present to help make decisions, but if the guy is out on medical leave from his primary job, my guess is that he’s on medical leave from everything, and he’s covered from a medical leave perspective. Let the guy get better and he’ll be attending more board meetings! Plus he owns more of Disney than anyone, which I’d think would give him the right to be on the board anyways.

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