Apple ponders cash, caves on board-vote proposal

“Apple Inc on Thursday adopted a measure long desired by investors and corporate governance activists, granting its shareholders a bigger say in the appointment of directors to the board of the world’s largest technology company,” Noel Randewich reports for Reuters.

“Chief Executive Tim Cook also repeated that he has been ‘thinking very deeply’ about investors’ demands that the consumer electronics company return some of its $98 billion in cash and securities to shareholders via a dividend,” Randewich reports. “On Thursday, Apple finally acceded to demands from U.S. pension fund Calpers and other major investors that it require unopposed directors to secure a majority-share vote before getting elected to the board.”

Randewich reports, “Calpers, the largest U.S. pension fund, has long sought support for such a measure to be adopted at scores of other U.S. corporations.”

Read more in the full article here.

Ben Gallagher reports for MarketWatch, “Apple announced before the voting portion of the meeting that it has already decided to implement the measure for its next board election.”

“The measure… requires that members of the company’s board be elected by an affirmative vote by a majority of shareholders; current bylaws allow unopposed directors to maintain their seats even without a majority approval,” Gallagher reports. “The company said the proposal had been approved by about 80% of the shareholder votes cast, based on preliminary figures. All members of the company’s board of directors were also reelected by majority votes at the meeting.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Al Gore accused of abusing his Apple Board of Directors position for personal gain (with video) – February 22, 2012
Calpers presses Apple to change director election process – February 8, 2012
Apple Board member Al Gore mocked at Apple shareholders meeting – February 26, 2010

26 Comments

      1. This First, probably, was amongst the pits who voted for G.W.Bush to go for a second round (of disaster)… Some kind of upside-down way of “think different”, i guess…

    1. As usual, F10T12 has no reason or logic to his posts. In this case, he also failed to comprehend the excerpt from the article…

      “All members of the company’s board of directors were also reelected by majority votes at the meeting.”

      That means that Gore would have remained on the Apple BoD even if that new rule had been in place for this shareholder meeting. Who knows what will happen next year? But there is no reason to suspect radical change.

      Once again, the hater T10T12 cannot see beyond his narrow little tunnel of self-delusion.

  1. It all sounds fine, shareholder power etc, until you remmeber that these fund managers are the same people who vote the fools onto other boards, and let them stay there while their companies churn out crap. They are the people who listen to the marketing jargon drivel spouted by most CEOs etc, and think it makes sense.

    1. Not to mention they are the gamers of the system – historically selling off chunks of APPL shares to force down the stock price, scaring the mom & pop shareholders into selling off their investments, then the fund managers scoop them up before the stock rebounds.

      There’s no such thing as a ‘free market!’

      1. Howdy Rev,
        The simple fact is that Apple’s market cap is enormous. This is not 1998 and Apple is no longer flying under the radar so get ready for the 21st Century: government(s) scrutiny, special interest scrutiny will only intensify. Lawyers, activists and assorted whack jobs see a huge target. Mr. Cook needs to set up defensible positions if he hopes to move the company forward .
        He’s doing that.

  2. If you don’t work for the company, you should stay out of the board room. The board of Apple has done just fine so far, I hope letting all those chefs into the kitchen doesn’t spoil the sauce.

    1. What? That’s a ludicrous notion. Non Executive board members are a very, very valuable addition to any board. Their value lies in providing balance and alternate views to the rest of the board, who are sometimes too close to the action to see the bigger picture.

  3. Well, 71% of AAPL is apparently owned by institutions (rather than individuals). Individual share holders practically always sign a proxy over to Steve (and now Cook), so Apple themselves get a good chunk of the voting pool. The only concern here is whether the remaining part of the voting share holders has the ability to make unpredictable changes.

  4. Put Politics aside. The company we know and love has just come to an end. The minute you give more control to the shareholders, the more the bean counters have more say. Mark this date, today history will show is the beginning of the end of Apple.

    I am sure it will be a profitable company for many years but Tim Cooke is selling out to the bean counters. The new Apple will not be the same as the Steve Jobs Apple that we all have come to love.

    While you Morons keep arguing over Democrats and Republicans the “Greeds” will take over Apple. You know the, the same people who are behind both the Democrats and the Republicans.

    You guys need to realize that our Government like the NFL and the Presidential race is like the Super Bowl. It doesn’t matter which team wins, the NFL (“the greeds”) are the ones who win.
    The Democrats and Republicans are just here for our entertainment so we can take turns feeling good while our “favorite” team wins.

    Oh, if I am right, that this is the beginning of the end for Apple, then history will show that it was all Obama’s fault (or if Mitt Romney wins maybe it is his fault)

      1. Sorry if I don’t share your optimism for Tim Cooke. He was the CFO, and unless he is really really different, then that breed is heavily financially minded. Let’s just hope Steve Jobs picked well, because if a few more acorns fall, I’ll take your advice and put on a helmet 😉

        1. Tim Cook was actually COO. But I share your concern about CalPers having a greater voice in running the company. I think CalPars needs will demand too much short term thinking.

    1. I agree with SouthRoad, as Steve always said – Apple isn’t about the money its about making insanely great products- .

      This move for requiring a majority vote for a board member is only a money scheme to get more greedy bastards on the board. Its not about making great products. What does a pension fund know about making great products? All they are interested in is making money for pensions.

      Once they get one greedy bastard on the board then they will slowly bring more until apple is only a money machine making crap.

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