Apple Hosts Annual Shareholder Meeting Today

| Apple Stock Watch

Apple Inc. will be holding its annual shareholder meeting Wednesday, at 10:00 AM PST at the company’s Cupertino headquarters. On tap is the reelection of Apple’s board of directors and a pair of important shareholder proposals regarding leadership issues. Apple has not said if CEO Steve Jobs will be at the meeting — Mr. Jobs is on an open-ended medical leave of absence.

The first shareholder proposal on the ballot is backed by various institutional investors, including the pension fund used by the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA). The proposal would require Apple’s board of directors to reveal its succession plan for the company’s top leadership, including the role of CEO.

The labor union announced on February 3rd that its proposal had won the backing of Institutional Shareholder Services, a third party consultancy on issues of corporate governance.

This issue has been a hot one for some shareholders for some time, but Apple has resisted previous proposals and shareholder requests on the grounds that revealing the plans it has in place would give the competition an advantage and that it could be disruptive in the internal ranks of the company’s executives.

The other major shareholder proposal would change the election process for Apple’s board of directors from a plurality vote to a majority vote. It is being pushed by the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, another major institutional investor in Apple.

The current system allows shareholders to withhold support for a given board member, but not actually vote against their selection. The practical effect is that a board member can be elected or re-elected with as little as 25% of shareholders voting in favor of that candidate.

This is another hot-button issue for some shareholders, and one that is also resisted by Apple’s leadership. Apple’s argument against the proposal is that the mechanics of California laws governing corporate governance could allow even a board member that enjoyed overwhelming support from shareholders to be forced out if not enough shareholders actually cast ballots.

Similar proposals have failed in the past, and considering Apple’s outstanding performance and record-high share prices the company has enjoyed even after Steve Jobs’s medical leave of absence, few expect it to pass this time around.

The Mac Observer will be on hand for the meeting to report on these topics and the antics of perennial local “character” shareholder and climate change denier Shelton Erhlich.

*In the interest of full disclosure, the author holds a small share in AAPL stock that was not an influence in the creation of this article.

Comments

Lee Dronick

“Apple has resisted previous proposals and shareholder requests on the grounds that revealing the plans it has in place would give the competition an advantage and that it could be disruptive in the internal ranks of the company?s executives”

I can see both sides to that argument, but my fanboyism aside I feel that it needs to be kept confidential.

docmurdock

Labor union…Apple’s not a union company. Pension fund…they’re trying to bolster their pension money by pushing Apple into a corner. What are they going to do, pull their money out? If so, that will drive the price of the stock down, not up oh and then they want to buy more stock at the lower price. Interesting way of shorting a stock but not looking bad for it.

Sorry kids, we’re onto your game.

You’re not entitled to CEO succession plans and neither is anyone else. That leaves a major hole at the top of a company and the speculation takes people away from the mission of the company which with regards to Apple is to create the best products which serve the needs of many and allow much productivity.

Get a life.

Mike

mhikl

Apple should leek Ballmer is its Replaceman. When gone, M$ might have a chance of pulling its head from that giant hole in the ground Ballmer dug for his company.

Odds are Google would be the lucky bidder. It has the dimes and the imagination to Think Different.

I agree, Mike. Stock manipulation is afoot.

Lee Dronick

Apple should leek Ballmer

He has more than enough onion awards smile

I just heard on the noon TV news that Apple rejected the request for making public the succession plan.

mhikl

It was a given, Sir Harry. Ya don’t argue with a Tiger.

The hole was dug in the M$ onion patch.

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