Campaigners praise Apple shareholder move while opponents warn

“Apple’s decision to give long-term shareholders a greater say in boardroom appointments is the most significant victory in an almost decade-long push to improve corporate accountability in the US, campaigners have said,” Stephen Foley reports for The Financial Times. “On Tuesday, the country’s largest company amended its bylaws to allow its investors to nominate directors, and shareholder rights groups claimed the move would make it harder for other companies to resist pressure to follow suit. Apple’s decision in favour of so-called proxy access — named after the ballot paper, or proxy, that is sent to shareholders ahead of annual meetings — takes to 129 the number of US companies to have adopted the practice.”

“While many hailed the move, opponents warned that proxy access could be used by special interest groups to push political, social or environmental agendas unsupported by a majority of shareholders,” Foley reports. “Steve Balet of FTI Consulting, which defends companies against activists, said the powers could be hijacked by shareholder groups. ‘There is already a way for shareholders to nominate directors, but it does require them to spend money, which in turn requires them to believe that they will add value by doing so,’ he said. ‘Proxy access is a free pass for activism by special interest groups.'”

Foley reports, “The Securities and Exchange Commission repeatedly debated making proxy access compulsory a decade ago, but the rule it eventually proposed in 2009 was struck down two years later after a legal challenge by the US Chamber of Commerce.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Even if the process is hijacked someday, as we wrote yesterday, “It’s pretty easy for seven to ignore one.”

SEE ALSO:
Apple offers proxy access, making shareholder nominations to the board easier – December 23, 2015

20 Comments

    1. Hope he does. Cont forget Mr Breeze, because of him we are getting dividend and value improved. I lie him. He is better then most of the US broker firms whose agenda is to drop the value of AAPL’s shares no matter how well they do.

    1. If you can get over half the shareholders to agree. Unlikely. I’ve attended many Apple shareholders meetings the past few years and there is always some crank criticizing Al Gore but the mood in the room is supportive of him.

    2. For sure! Dump Gore asap. Adds zero benefit having him there enriching himself further while contributing nothing of value for shareholders. He is a pompous prig. He and his daddy, Senator Al Gore Sr., have shafted the American citizenry while raking in hundreds of millions, or likely multiple billions of $ while they sold us out. Look it up! Armand Hammer got the old man to cheat and pull strings for him to enable oil deals he never could have accomplished otherwise.

  1. “Activism” is not necessarily a bad thing, although some have given the term a negative connotation. You could make a valid argument that our founding fathers were activists. So were Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks and many other independent thinkers with the will to stand up for what is right.

    They had enlightened viewpoints of how the country and our society should be, and they dared to change things – perfect examples of “Think Different” mentality. In their times, they had many detractors. In modern times, they are almost universally admired for their audacity.

    So go ahead and attempt to deride people as “progressive” or “activist.” But that will not stop people from trying to do the right thing. In the spirit of today and tomorrow, consider that the ultimate activist in the Christian faith is Jesus, Himself.

    1. That would be all well and good if “activists” weren’t, as often as not, not doing the “right thing”.

      And that doesn’t even take into consideration the law of unintended consequences, wherein the naive who think they are doing the “right thing” will end up producing the opposite of what they wanted to achieve.

      As for the MMDN take: that’s fine as long the “right ” seven are ignoring the “wrong” one.

      1. At least they are trying. A reactionary, status quo approach is not always right either. I am a little surprised by a neutral 3-star average with 36 votes. But this is the MDN forum and a lot of vocal people on this forum have quaffed deeply from the reactionary playbook.

  2. From what I’ve read about this move, I don’t see this as a method for a band of loony infestors (joke) to pull an coup at Apple. But it’s certainly going to create more noise/dissonance.

    If there were many intelligent suggestions out in the wild regarding Apple’s direction, I’d say this was excellent! But all of us here at MDN know there is an endless stream of ‘professional’ techTards with big mouths out in the wild who have nothing to offer anyone but their profound insecurity and their dire need for attention. That seems to be a remarkably large sink hole of modern first world society.

    However, if Apple did go off the rails and turn into just-another-biznizz, this could also be a route for those with actual Apple savvy to speak out and provide some Jobsian sort of guidance.

    I think I need more rum in my eggnog. So carry on without me…

  3. It doesn’t say that shareholders can vote people on the board, just that they can nominate people for election. The board still has to be voted upon by all shareholders.

  4. All companies should distribute 80% of the profits to shareholders. That will stabilize the market price of all companies.

    Those companies not making money would have a low to none existent shock price. Fitting.

    1. Really? You want to regulate corporate capital management with a single blunt rule?

      It is not in shareholders interests for profits to be returned to them if the company will grow faster by reinvesting them, or a balance has other benefits.

      1. myth! You invest to increase your wealth not theirs. They need to adjust to the 80% being paid to shareholders. Growth still happens, at the same rate if not faster, as the company’s CEOs realize 20% of 100,000,000,000 is more than 20% of 10,000,000.They, the CEOs, only have to worry about making money. No more blaming taxes, health care cost, unfair trade, in other words no more excuses. Stocks prices will respond to those companies actually doing well. As a stockholder, hope the companies profits grow, not to CEOs world wide influence.

        1. Is Apple doing something good with its assets?

          Something good for those who are starving?
          The homeless, the sick people?

          Xmas?

          Today you need to be gay.
          Nothing else matters.
          Ignore is the new fragrance by Dior.

  5. I would point out that the old procedure only ensures that nut jobs with money get to nominate directors while the new procedure only lowers the financial threshold. I’m pretty certain that having a ton of money doesn’t prevent you from being a nut job. Seems like there’s some amount of evidence to the contrary.

  6. Shareholders should not have more influence in the boardroom than they already have. Boards are elected to get things done. If shareholders don’t like the direction thga the board takes a comp-[any, they are free to sell their shares or vote board members down.

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