Apple Inc.is shareholders approved Tuesday a measure urging Apple to give shareholders an advisory capacity concerning executive compensation, according to Marketwatch. The vote was officially tallied at a shareholder meeting at the companyis Cupertino, CA headquarters.
The measure is little more than a request, and is effectively non-binding. It follows more direct efforts from some activist shareholders in the past to limit or otherwise give shareholders more direct say in the way the company pays its top execs.
In response to the vote, Apple CEO Steve Jobs told shareholders on hand for the meeting, "I hope this say on pay will help me with my $1 a year." Mr. Jobs has earned US$1 per year in salary since he returned to the company in 1997, though he has also earned a not-so-small fortune in stock grants, as well as a private jet he uses for company-related travel. Apple picks up the tab for those travel expenses.
The issue of shareholder concern over executive compensation was perhaps at its height during last yearis shareholder meeting when votes were withheld for several boardmembers due to a stock option backdating scandal. Shareholders were concerned that the board of directors for Apple was not keeping company execs in check.
Also of concern was the level of executive compensation, including stock and option grants made to Steve Jobs and other executives. While Apple has performed incredibly well during the last several years, and the companyis stock is still up many fold, even after a 30% downslide since the first of the year, there has been a growing movement against skyrocketing executive pay at most large publicly traded corporations, Apple included.
So far, todayis vote asking for a shareholder role in executive compensation is the strongest measure passed by Appleis investors.
Shares in AAPL closed at $124.62, a gain of $2.89 (+2.37%).
*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.