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35% of companies, including Apple, have a CEO succession plan - Page 2

post #41 of 93
I'm pretty sure Apple's succession plan involves handing out five golden tickets.
post #42 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

I could easily post a long list of articles on shareholder rights, and shareholder ownership of a public company, but I doubt anyone would read those either.

What you need to do is explain, in your own words, not with links to this or that, why you support what you claim is a meaningless proposition, and your explanation shouldn't try to claim any good will come of it since, according to your claims, it has no effect.
post #43 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Apple has done more than discuss it -- they say the have a plan. What they don't want to do is reveal any part of it to the stockholders. They would not be required to reveal anything, let alone anything specific, or even abide by the proposal, if it was approved. It's strictly advisory.

Here's another article on the subject that probably nobody will read.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/5839dc72-2...#axzz1DIAAZaYB

You know I have read similar things and have read the proxy statement, even in this article


Quote:
In its annual proxy filing to shareholders last month, Apple complained that if it were forced to name chief executive candidates, those not named might resign, while those named could be poached by competitors. But the proposal does not ask for public naming of successor candidates. We are not asking for the name of the successor, we are asking for the succession plan, Ms ODell said.

Ms O'Dell is as clear as mud, she wants a plan to be shared with her and ISS but she does not want to know name, excuse me with out name how is it a plan. I am not sure what she is looking for. I know many companies have a short list of people internally who they would consider for internal position if someone was no longer in a position. They some time even identify external people that feel could fill the role. However, it sounds like she is looking for a document that explains how they will do about that. I highly doubt that is what she is looking for she and ISS really wants names since the name tell it all.

My advise to ISS if they can not stand the risk of not knowing, then get out of the stock.
post #44 of 93
"Time Machine".

That is all.
post #45 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Here we go again. Lots of opinions, little accurate information. This article provides a good overview of the issues, with opinions pro and con:

http://www.informationweek.com/news/...leID=229201237

Note, first of all, that the shareholder proposal would not "force Apple to disclose a written CEO succession policy."

Although the article provided some solid details on the issues, I am not sure I could call it unbiased.

Putting that aside, what I found most humorous is this:
Quote:
Why didnt we have a January 27th event? Is the iPad 2 delayed?

They clearly have no understanding of Apple's product launch strategies. Why would Apple announce a product that won't be shipping for months?
post #46 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

I disagree. Its clear that Cook is tagged as CEO. Day to day running of the company and all things production related.
The question is whether or not that role would continue to include responsibilities for 'visionary' (for lack of a better word.)
No where does the CEO role mandate responsibility for product direction, and I don't think Cook will have (or want) that role.
Detailing individual responsibilities beyond day-to-day show running is not something Apple should be forced to disclose. Exposing who would be making design decisions would be akin to disclosing the design itself.

I doubt that Cook would be as actively involved in product design as Jobs. However, it is interesting to note that Cook's undergraduate degree from Auburn was,in fact, for industrial design. Some might argue that he is better prepared to handle this task than is Jobs.
post #47 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

You know I have read similar things and have read the proxy statement, even in this article




Ms O'Dell is as clear as mud, she wants a plan to be shared with her and ISS but she does not want to know name, excuse me with out name how is it a plan. I am not sure what she is looking for. I know many companies have a short list of people internally who they would consider for internal position if someone was no longer in a position. They some time even identify external people that feel could fill the role. However, it sounds like she is looking for a document that explains how they will do about that. I highly doubt that is what she is looking for she and ISS really wants names since the name tell it all.

My advise to ISS if they can not stand the risk of not knowing, then get out of the stock.

Well, there was a bunch of HR-speak BS in the proposal about, "will use a formal assessment process to evaluate candidates," and, "will identify and develop internal candidates." It also clearly states, "adopt and disclose a written and detailed succession planning policy," and "annually produce a report on its succession plan to shareholders." So, to claim that it doesn't require Apple to do anything is either to not understand it or to intend to mislead.

As I've said before, there are two possible interpretations. Literally, since it doesn't spell out what details must be disclosed or what has to be in the annual report, it's meaningless, so pointless. However, I'm sure these people would file a lawsuit if Apple followed a literal interpretation and published a report that said, "We have fulfilled our obligations under the succession planning resolution."

The other interpretation is that they do expect Apple to not only name names, but to tell how these names fit into their business strategy (thus revealing that too). This is the only interpretation that actually means anything, and it seems pretty clear that this is what they are after.

These ISS people are essentially idiots. Idiot shareholders ruining companies through interference and/or excessive focus on short term profits has become an American tradition in recent years, but we can at least hope that most Apple shareholders have the sense to reject this proposal.
post #48 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Here we go again. Lots of opinions, little accurate information. This article provides a good overview of the issues, with opinions pro and con:

http://www.informationweek.com/news/...leID=229201237

Note, first of all, that the shareholder proposal would not "force Apple to disclose a written CEO succession policy."

A link (to the wsj) in your "recommended" link says this: ... Institutional Shareholder Services said all companies should have succession plans in place, and Apple shareholders would benefit by having a report on the company's succession plans disclosed annually. (bolded part mine)
I noticed that you took the time to inject the word "written" in your (unreferenced) "quote". I suspect that was for the sole purpose of "getting you off the hook". That does fit your posting profile.

I keep trying to figure out just what your purpose is in any of your posts. I. You're just a "troll" ..... 2. You are here just to drive hits for AI ...... or 3. You have such an inflated opinion of yourself that you can't conceive of the fact that you might be wrong .... again. .... I hate to think it .... but my money is on 3.

PS .... nice to see "anonymouse" leave you "twisting in the wind" in this thread.
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post #49 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

There are 2 meaningful interpretations of this proposal. If one interprets it literally, all Apple would have to do to comply is say, "Yes, we have a succession plan." This interpretation makes it essentially meaningless, especially since they've already indicated they do have one, and a complete waste of time. The only other valid interpretation is that they are to, "disclose a written CEO succession policy," which of course is insane.

While I oppose the proposal, the bolded above is not quite true. The proposal would demand that requirements for a CEO replacement be identified as part of the plan and that the plan be published. Providing specific requirements for the job may presage what Apple's future intentions are - that is Apple's concern.

I also find it somewhat ironic that many of the articles posted on this issue over the years have pointed to the benefit of Microsoft's succession planning when Gates stepped down. That succession planning has left Microsoft without the kind of leadership to challenge a number of its rivals, a stock price whose performance can kindly be described as languid and may be contributing to the high turnover they have recently seen.
post #50 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

A few of you have touched on the subject which it probably the real questions behind this all, and that is who will be the person setting product direction. Everyone is concern that what happen in the late 80's and early 90's will happen again. Which very well could happen, since John was CEO and Steve was setting product direction and the two did not get along and we know how that story nearly ended.

If Cook becomes CEO who will be the guy with the single direction vision and will those two get along. We all know that no one gets along with Steve unless you do exactly what he wants and from what I heard it not always clear what he wants.

The other unknown thing is how much is Steve really involved in the various parts of the Business. We know he negotiate deals with suppliers and customers. We also heard he involved in the PR and advertising.

One of the primary reason Apple is successful is due to the fact there is a single vision for the company and no product is released unless he agrees it fits into his vision.

I plan to vote no on the proposal, since I do believe Apple probably had discussions about who will do what and when, however, I do not believe it should be public knowledge, also it is not really clear from the proposal if they are required to reveal a succession plan what does that really mean.

Cook, not Jobs, negotiates most vendor and customer deals. Jobs is likely involved in content deals along with Eddy Cue and he is surely involved in marketing and advertising efforts - his strong suits.

As far as product design, Ive will be the driving force working with the many talented product managers and engineers who have been inculcated with the Apple design ethos.

Product introductions will be different. Expect Schiller to be the emcee and Ive to do that actual product announcement with support from whichever VP is responsible for the engineering effort.

Apple will be smart enough to know better than look for another Jobs and will see a team effort that may bring new benefits to Apple.
post #51 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post

Not likely. Tim Cook is not a CEO, and he knows it. He is comfortable with it, too, which is why he stays. I don't know where the CEO will come from, but let me be clear about this: Steve Jobs is not a one-off. The thing about Jobs is that he is exceedingly rare if you compare him to other businessmen in his generation, but there are plenty of very smart, dynamic, million-meters-per-second people who have come from the startup environment of the last 15 years.

I think you are mistaken. Apple's next CEO will almost definitely come from within Apple and will have the Apple ethos deeply instilled in him. And I think that Cook is the man and will surprise people with his performance.
post #52 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by penchanted View Post

While I oppose the proposal, the bolded above is not quite true. The proposal would demand that requirements for a CEO replacement be identified as part of the plan and that the plan be published. Providing specific requirements for the job may presage what Apple's future intentions are - that is Apple's concern.

I also find it somewhat ironic that many of the articles posted on this issue over the years have pointed to the benefit of Microsoft's succession planning when Gates stepped down. That succession planning has left Microsoft without the kind of leadership to challenge a number of its rivals, a stock price whose performance can kindly be described as languid and may be contributing to the high turnover they have recently seen.

A strict and literal interpretation of the wording could support the claim that a meaningless statement that the board has fulfilled its obligations under the resolution would satisfy the resolution. For example, it says, "disclose a written and detailed succession planning policy," and "annually produce a report on its succession plan to shareholders." It doesn't, for example, say, "disclose in writing the details of the succession plan." So, is it enough to simply "disclose" annually that they have one? This is the interpretation that some supporters are trying to pass off, which is why I've pointed out that such an interpretation is utterly meaningless.

I also agree that a detailed succession plan may not even be a good idea, and it certainly is no guarantee of good results, as your example points out. Frankly, I think establishing a formal plan, even if it isn't published, may not be a good idea, unless said formal plan is extremely general. Circumstances, including who is available, change frequently, so a plan that drives the process too much may lock the board into less than optimal decisions.

However, I agree that this is not what the proposed resolution is calling for. It's calling for Apple to commit to writing and publish its business strategies and the names of potential future CEO candidates. That's why I consider this a particularly egregious example of shareholder meddling that has the potential to do great harm.
post #53 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post

Not likely. Tim Cook is not a CEO, and he knows it. He is comfortable with it, too, which is why he stays. I don't know where the CEO will come from, but let me be clear about this: Steve Jobs is not a one-off. The thing about Jobs is that he is exceedingly rare if you compare him to other businessmen in his generation, but there are plenty of very smart, dynamic, million-meters-per-second people who have come from the startup environment of the last 15 years.

I'd agree on Tim Cook. Although very capable, his present position is a perfect for him, and he probably knows it, which is also extremely rare and valuable. The fact that he has stepped in a few times already shows how capable he is. But I don't think his interest is in being a permanent CEO.

The instinct for products, technology, design, strategy, and user needs that SJ has is far more rare. I would say there are definitely NOT "plenty of people coming out of the startup ranks" who can even come close to what he does. In fact, most of those folks are not really acceptable because they've become too focused on marketing & business plans with no real feel for what people need. As good as Steve is at turning a buck, he always starts with "What would make life better and more interesting?" not with "What would attract venture capital?" or "What would make tons o' cash?"

I think it's more likely that someone in Apple will rise to the position rather than an outsider stepping in. I hope a candidate or two has been getting all the necessary care and feeding along the way for the last several years.
post #54 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by penchanted View Post

Cook, not Jobs, negotiates most vendor and customer deals. Jobs is likely involved in content deals along with Eddy Cue and he is surely involved in marketing and advertising efforts - his strong suits.

As far as product design, Ive will be the driving force working with the many talented product managers and engineers who have been inculcated with the Apple design ethos.

Product introductions will be different. Expect Schiller to be the emcee and Ive to do that actual product announcement with support from whichever VP is responsible for the engineering effort.

Apple will be smart enough to know better than look for another Jobs and will see a team effort that may bring new benefits to Apple.

While a team effort is necessary, so is a leader and visionary.
One person has to make certain decsions and set goals and directions. Someone has to tell Johnny Ive, "No. go this way." Product designers are like engineers. They need constraints. Unlike engineers, they don't know it. The same for other facets of the enterprise. They won't find another SJ, but they will find a leader.
post #55 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Here we go again. Lots of opinions, little accurate information. This article provides a good overview of the issues, with opinions pro and con:

http://www.informationweek.com/news/...leID=229201237

Note, first of all, that the shareholder proposal would not "force Apple to disclose a written CEO succession policy."

I just now located the actual proxy and the following quotes blow holes in any and most all of your posts on this matter ..... not that that will stop you from "arguing your points". You've never seemed to let facts get in the way of of discussion before .... why start now?

RESOLVED: That the shareholders of Apple, Inc. [sic] (“Company”) hereby request that the Board of Directors initiate the appropriate process to amend the Company’s Corporate Governance Guidelines (“Guidelines”) to adopt and disclose a written and detailed succession planning policy,

• The Board will identify and develop internal candidates ....



The above quotes are taken from the proposal itself.


.... The following quotes are taken from the reply from Apple to the proposal.

The Company recognizes that a highly talented and experienced management team, not just the CEO, is critical to Apple’s success. Accordingly, the Board already implements many of the proposed actions and maintains a comprehensive succession plan throughout the organization


As noted, the Company already fulfills several of the requests proposed. The Company’s Corporate Governance Guidelines, available publicly on the Company’s website, require the Board and CEO to conduct an annual review of succession planning for senior management, including the CEO. As part of this annual review, the Board has a formal evaluation process in which it identifies and recommends development of internal candidates for succession based on criteria that reflect Apple’s business strategy. ..... (bold highlights are mine)

I think this info should put a stop to your posts ..... but most likely it won't.
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post #56 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Here we go again. Lots of opinions, little accurate information. This article provides a good overview of the issues, with opinions pro and con:

http://www.informationweek.com/news/...leID=229201237

Note, first of all, that the shareholder proposal would not "force Apple to disclose a written CEO succession policy."

While I don't agree with Bob Evans assessment (it's his blog and his opinion, so he's as entitled as any) I think we have a use for all that cash that Apple is laying aside - how about a buy-back? Just a thought - I haven't reviewed any of the recent buy-back situations, but it wouldn't surprise me if Apple is considering that as these special interests try to define how Apple should run it's business. Let me get back on this after I research a bit...
post #57 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by newbee View Post

I just now located the actual proxy and the following quotes blow holes in any and most all of your posts on this matter ..... not that that will stop you from "arguing your points". You've never seemed to let facts get in the way of of discussion before .... why start now?

RESOLVED: That the shareholders of Apple, Inc. [sic] (Company) hereby request that the Board of Directors initiate the appropriate process to amend the Companys Corporate Governance Guidelines (Guidelines) to adopt and disclose a written and detailed succession planning policy,

The Board will identify and develop internal candidates ....

The above quotes are taken from the proposal itself.

.... The following quotes are taken from the reply from Apple to the proposal.

The Company recognizes that a highly talented and experienced management team, not just the CEO, is critical to Apples success. Accordingly, the Board already implements many of the proposed actions and maintains a comprehensive succession plan throughout the organization


As noted, the Company already fulfills several of the requests proposed. The Companys Corporate Governance Guidelines, available publicly on the Companys website, require the Board and CEO to conduct an annual review of succession planning for senior management, including the CEO. As part of this annual review, the Board has a formal evaluation process in which it identifies and recommends development of internal candidates for succession based on criteria that reflect Apples business strategy. ..... (bold highlights are mine)

I think this info should put a stop to your posts ..... but most likely it won't.

Tying together the formal document wording and the response from Apple was the important thing here, well done.

I stand by my initially expressed opinion posted on the previous thread - this is attempted interference in corporate governance by activist groups of pension fund managers who are trying to hedge their bets as much as possible, fund managers are a conservative and fearful lot anyway. After the recession trashed their funds, they are now running scared that having heavily invested in a highly performing Apple they are going to bleed again.

In fact this reads much like the fable of the goose that laid the golden eggs...
post #58 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by msuberly View Post

I don't understand that. I am sitting on a real battlefied right now. If don't want to give the enemy the upper hand, so I do everything in my power not to let on my battle plans. I want to win and him to lose.

By your logic, the shareholders are the enemy of the corporation. That is absolutely wrong; the shareholders are the owners of the corporation.

Making the plan public would give the information to a lot more people than Apple shareholders....
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post #59 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by penchanted View Post

Although the article provided some solid details on the issues, I am not sure I could call it unbiased.

Putting that aside, what I found most humorous is this:

The article tried to air both sides of the debate, but I think the writer comes down on the side of more disclosure. I wouldn't call that bias so much as drawing conclusions from the circumstances and facts.

That one example isn't a good one, I agree. But I think the point remains intact.
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post #60 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by penchanted View Post

I also find it somewhat ironic that many of the articles posted on this issue over the years have pointed to the benefit of Microsoft's succession planning when Gates stepped down. That succession planning has left Microsoft without the kind of leadership to challenge a number of its rivals, a stock price whose performance can kindly be described as languid and may be contributing to the high turnover they have recently seen.

The problem with Microsoft's succession wasn't the process, it was the person who succeeded. If the search criteria was effectively "Bill's oldest and best buddy," then I can see why it didn't work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LewysBlackmore View Post

While I don't agree with Bob Evans assessment (it's his blog and his opinion, so he's as entitled as any) I think we have a use for all that cash that Apple is laying aside - how about a buy-back? Just a thought - I haven't reviewed any of the recent buy-back situations, but it wouldn't surprise me if Apple is considering that as these special interests try to define how Apple should run it's business. Let me get back on this after I research a bit...

Not a big fan of buybacks myself. If they weren't prepared to support the stock when it was trading below $100, I don't see them changing their minds now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LewysBlackmore View Post

Tying together the formal document wording and the response from Apple was the important thing here, well done.

I stand by my initially expressed opinion posted on the previous thread - this is attempted interference in corporate governance by activist groups of pension fund managers who are trying to hedge their bets as much as possible, fund managers are a conservative and fearful lot anyway. After the recession trashed their funds, they are now running scared that having heavily invested in a highly performing Apple they are going to bleed again.

In fact this reads much like the fable of the goose that laid the golden eggs...

No matter how it's spun, the proposal is still advisory to the board. They can take whatever action they like, or no action at all. The latter is the most likely outcome, even if it passes.

Anyway, here's another ignore-worthy article on the topic, of the kind I'm not supposed to post anymore.

http://seekingalpha.com/article/2513...-glossy-shine?
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post #61 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

No matter how it's spun, the proposal is still advisory to the board. They can take whatever action they like, or no action at all. The latter is the most likely outcome, even if it passes.

Anyway, here's another ignore-worthy article on the topic, of the kind I'm not supposed to post anymore.

http://seekingalpha.com/article/2513...-glossy-shine?

It's certainly ignore-worthy, given headings like Apples Lack of a Clear Succession Plan.

Shouldn't that section heading be Tony DAltorio's ignorance of Apple's Succession Plans?

It's no wonder you are confused after reading this stuff. You need to try to think for yourself, and actually articulate your own reasons for why you think this is a good idea. If you can't do that, maybe it isn't.

But, do tell us why you think this is simply "advisory" and that the board can, as you imply, simply ignore it completely without any consequences actual or potential. And, if that's so, tell us why you think it isn't a complete waste of time for the shareholders to even consider it.
post #62 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

No matter how it's spun, the proposal is still advisory to the board.

Talk about spin .... using your language, it would appear that all proposals are "advisory" .... except if a proposal is voted to accept .... it is no longer "advisory"....
... partial quote from the actual proposal ... (hint ...not from a blog)

RESOLVED: That the shareholders of Apple, Inc. [sic] (“Company”) hereby request that the Board of Directors initiate the appropriate process to amend the Company’s Corporate Governance Guidelines (“Guidelines”) to adopt and disclose a written and detailed succession planning policy .....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Anyway, here's another ignore-worthy article on the topic, of the kind I'm not supposed to post anymore.

Conrats. ..... you finally got something right. ...
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post #63 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by newbee View Post

Talk about spin .... using your language, it would appear that all proposals are "advisory" .... except if a proposal is voted to accept .... it is no longer "advisory"....
... partial quote from the actual proposal ... (hint ...not from a blog)

RESOLVED: That the shareholders of Apple, Inc. [sic] (Company) hereby request that the Board of Directors initiate the appropriate process to amend the Companys Corporate Governance Guidelines (Guidelines) to adopt and disclose a written and detailed succession planning policy ...

The problem with the doctor's "reasoning" is that, despite his attempt to appear that he knows what he's talking about and that the rest of us are simply ignorant, he really doesn't know what he's talking about, and he's not open to reason.
post #64 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Post the link to the SEC regulation that says shareholders have a right to a company's detailed succession planning, or even to know the "inner workings" of the company. To the contrary, the board has the obligation to keep this information confidential as revealing it would harm the company.

You're spot on.
post #65 of 93
The fact that this "share holder" is actually a union brings out the cynic in me.

With the Obama clan in power, unions are being encouraged to "contribute" their way into the very fabric of the political power structure on all levels. Their agenda, i.e. ulterior motive, with apple should be put to some kind of scrutiny. Perhaps their ability to purchase shares should be capped at some point.
post #66 of 93
There are many areas in which the shareholder rights movement can make a possible difference -- e.g., say on pay for board members, selection of board members who will look after their interests -- but for most other things, they do not have either the information or the collective decision-making ability to start to intervene in the internal affairs of the business. It is silly to expect otherwise. Say on things such as whether succession plans should be made public falls into the 'silly' category.

The modern corporation is set up so that we delegate decisions on how to run the company to professional managers. We can't -- and the US governance system, the underpinning of which is the 'business judgement rule' (look it up), does not allow us to -- constantly second-guess managerial decisions. Companies will be paralyzed, and destroy value. A well-functioning market for stocks means that anyone that has a problem with it can and should sell and move on.

The mistake that even well-meaning shareholder rights advocates make is to assume that all shareholders are homogenous. This is naive. There are many categories of shareholder, the most important ones being institutional versus individual, blockholder versus non-blockholder, insider versus outsider, domestic versus foreign, NGO versus non-NGO, short-term (e.g., hedge funds) versus long-term etc. There is little unanimity in time horizons, shareownership goals, ability to influence boards and management, etc.
post #67 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alladdinn View Post

The fact that this "share holder" is actually a union brings out the cynic in me.

With the Obama clan in power, unions are being encouraged to "contribute" their way into the very fabric of the political power structure on all levels. Their agenda, i.e. ulterior motive, with apple should be put to some kind of scrutiny. Perhaps their ability to purchase shares should be capped at some point.

Please stop spouting nonsense.
post #68 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

You're spot on.

Except that's not what is being requested, so I think more like spot off.

This is turning into another one of those Alice in Wonderland threads, where reality has to be twisted to validate someone's indignation.
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post #69 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

There are many areas in which the shareholder rights movement can make a possible difference -- e.g., say on pay for board members, selection of board members who will look after their interests -- but for most other things, they do not have either the information or the collective decision-making ability to start to intervene in the internal affairs of the business. It is silly to expect otherwise. Say on things such as whether succession plans should be made public falls into the 'silly' category.

The modern corporation is set up so that we delegate decisions on how to run the company to professional managers. We can't -- and the US governance system, the underpinning of which is the 'business judgement rule' (look it up), does not allow us to -- constantly second-guess managerial decisions. Companies will be paralyzed, and destroy value. A well-functioning market for stocks means that anyone that has a problem with it can and should sell and move on.

The mistake that even well-meaning shareholder rights advocates make is to assume that all shareholders are homogenous. This is naive. There are many categories of shareholder, the most important ones being institutional versus individual, blockholder versus non-blockholder, insider versus outsider, domestic versus foreign, NGO versus non-NGO, short-term (e.g., hedge funds) versus long-term etc. There is little unanimity in time horizons, shareownership goals, ability to influence boards and management, etc.

Two problems. First, you are casting this as an "intervention" into the internal affairs of the business. This is not so -- the measure is advisory only. Having said this several times already, I don't know why repeating it is necessary. The board can simply ignore any vote they don't like, and if history is any guide, the Apple board will certainly do so in this case.

Second, what you've described is not how the modern PUBLIC corporation is set up. Businesses go to the equity markets to raise capital and to make their investments liquid. Part of the deal is that the investors in the company have some say in how it's run. If the people who own the company don't like that deal, then they should remain privately held. Many do just that. Some public companies even go private to get away from stockholders having a say. As a public company, Apple has to hear their stockholders, even if they choose not to listen.

As for your discussion of different types of stockholders, you'll have to explain where you are going with that. I don't get it.
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post #70 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

There are many areas in which the shareholder rights movement can make a possible difference -- e.g., say on pay for board members, selection of board members who will look after their interests -- but for most other things, they do not have either the information or the collective decision-making ability to start to intervene in the internal affairs of the business. It is silly to expect otherwise. Say on things such as whether succession plans should be made public falls into the 'silly' category.

The modern corporation is set up so that we delegate decisions on how to run the company to professional managers. We can't -- and the US governance system, the underpinning of which is the 'business judgement rule' (look it up), does not allow us to -- constantly second-guess managerial decisions. Companies will be paralyzed, and destroy value. A well-functioning market for stocks means that anyone that has a problem with it can and should sell and move on.

The mistake that even well-meaning shareholder rights advocates make is to assume that all shareholders are homogenous. This is naive. There are many categories of shareholder, the most important ones being institutional versus individual, blockholder versus non-blockholder, insider versus outsider, domestic versus foreign, NGO versus non-NGO, short-term (e.g., hedge funds) versus long-term etc. There is little unanimity in time horizons, shareownership goals, ability to influence boards and management, etc.

I think this just further argues for an expansion of Apple's board which, at 7 members, is pretty small for a business of its size. I am sure it has been beneficial in terms of moving things forward quickly but it does have some shortcomings which you touched upon with your remark about the fact that shareholders are not homogeneous.

Apple's board is currently missing a "money man" like Jerry York. This is important because they are sitting on so much cash and will likely continue to throw off large amounts of cash in the future. They could use some outside input in this area.

Apple needs some board members who have not been hand-selected by Jobs to represent other constituencies. They are heavy in marketing but have no one to provide input on their internet plans (which I suspect was what Schmidt was there for). Sugar understands both an engineering-driven company and can also provide large business perspective but what about some of the other areas where Apple has intentions. How about someone from the education community?

I have questions about the independence of both Campbell and Gore. And I would have loved to have seen Levinson's reaction to the news that they were canceling the X-Serve since they trotted him out for the announcement of OS X Server and X-Serve.
post #71 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by penchanted View Post

Apple's board is currently missing a "money man" like Jerry York.

What makes you say Apple doesn't know what they are doing with their money? Or that they are somehow at a loss without a "money man"? Someone there knows a thing or two about money.
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post #72 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Except that's not what is being requested, so I think more like spot off.

This is turning into another one of those Alice in Wonderland threads, where reality has to be twisted to validate someone's indignation.

Oh, you're attributing way more than I intended. I have not been following the minutiae of the thread and all the various layers of ego issues involved (when it's a long set of A responding to B responding to A responding to B, people like me just give up!).

I saw a pithy post that made a lot of sense, and said 'spot on' that's all. No need to take it personally.
post #73 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Two problems. First, you are casting this as an "intervention" into the internal affairs of the business. This is not so -- the measure is advisory only. Having said this several times already, I don't know why repeating it is necessary. The board can simply ignore any vote they don't like, and if history is any guide, the Apple board will certainly do so in this case.

Second, what you've described is not how the modern PUBLIC corporation is set up. Businesses go to the equity markets to raise capital and to make their investments liquid. Part of the deal is that the investors in the company have some say in how it's run. If the people who own the company don't like that deal, then they should remain privately held. Many do just that. Some public companies even go private to get away from stockholders having a say. As a public company, Apple has to hear their stockholders, even if they choose not to listen.

As for your discussion of different types of stockholders, you'll have to explain where you are going with that. I don't get it.

First, Boards can ignore repeated shareholder requests only for so long. Quite apart from the negative publicity that would result, Boards also have to keep in mind that, at the end of the day, they owe their fiduciary obligation to shareholders, not management.

Which brings up your Point 2. I can actually now begin to understand why some people are reacting as tough you really do not seem to understand the basics of how the US governance system works. Let's get one thing straight: management works for Boards, and Boards work for shareholders, in the Anglo-American system. Period. There is no 'deal' (part or whole) with investors about what 'say' they have in how things are run. Investors have their say through the Board, no more, no less. (I'd suggest you read carefully again in my previous post about where I specifically mentioned shareholders should have a say).

Your view of the supposed contract that management has with shareholders is just that: supposed. It does not comport with either the law or reality.

It is also now obvious why you did not understand the implications of shareholder heterogeneity point that I bought up. I think you're smart enough to educate yourself on this issue if you're interested.
post #74 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by penchanted View Post

I think this just further argues for an expansion of Apple's board which, at 7 members, is pretty small for a business of its size. ......

Nonsense. Very substantive research shows that smaller Boards make better decisions. Happy to give you cites if needed.
post #75 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by spliff monkey View Post

What makes you say Apple doesn't know what they are doing with their money? Or that they are somehow at a loss without a "money man"? Someone there knows a thing or two about money.



Nuff said.
post #76 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by spliff monkey View Post

What makes you say Apple doesn't know what they are doing with their money? Or that they are somehow at a loss without a "money man"? Someone there knows a thing or two about money.

I am not saying that Apple doesn't know what they are doing with their money. But York brought a good set of sensibilities to the board and was not afraid to challenge Jobs. Among other things, York was CFO at IBM, Chrysler and USWind and worked directly for Kirk Kerkorian at Tracinda. The latter probably made him the lone board member advocating for shareholders. I just think it is healthy to have an outsider with financial credentials on the board.
post #77 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Nonsense. Very substantive research shows that smaller Boards make better decisions. Happy to give you cites if needed.

Smaller boards are typically quicker to reach consensus which is an advantage. But they also often lack the breadth and scope to provide strategic guidance in areas where the executive suite either lacks talent or is just building talent. As an example, I am certain that having Micky Drexler on the board was very advantageous when Apple decided to enter the retail space and I suspect his perspective is still very important to Apple's retail efforts.

I would be interested in a few of your cites.
post #78 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post



Nuff said.

Do you really feel you are getting an adequate return from Apple's cash? I'd love to believe there is some grand scheme that puts that cash to work in a way that provides higher yields.

Mind you, I:
  • Don't want a quarterly dividend
  • Appreciate that Apple's fluidity creates opportunities for them
  • Believe Apple does have a specific goal in mind for the cash

But most anything I can conjure up could be paid for out of a single year's profits with the exception of some acquisitions which I would consider toxic (starting with Adobe).

At what level would you consider Apple's cash reserves to be excessive?

I started this thread in General Discussions to see what people think Apple might do with their cash:
http://forums.appleinsider.com/showthread.php?t=117102

So far, few have responded. I truly am interested in what that cash might lead to in the future.
post #79 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by penchanted View Post

Smaller boards are typically quicker to reach consensus which is an advantage. But they also often lack the breadth and scope to provide strategic guidance in areas where the executive suite either lacks talent or is just building talent. As an example, I am certain that having Micky Drexler on the board was very advantageous when Apple decided to enter the retail space and I suspect his perspective is still very important to Apple's retail efforts.

I would be interested in a few of your cites.

I will PM you cites on this later today.
post #80 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by penchanted View Post

Do you really feel you are getting an adequate return from Apple's cash? I'd love to believe there is some grand scheme that puts that cash to work in a way that provides higher yields.

Mind you, I:
  • Don't want a quarterly dividend
  • Appreciate that Apple's fluidity creates opportunities for them
  • Believe Apple does have a specific goal in mind for the cash

But most anything I can conjure up could be paid for out of a single year's profits with the exception of some acquisitions which I would consider toxic (starting with Adobe).

At what level would you consider Apple's cash reserves to be excessive?

I started this thread in General Discussions to see what people think Apple might do with their cash:
http://forums.appleinsider.com/showthread.php?t=117102

So far, few have responded. I truly am interested in what that cash might lead to in the future.

Here's what I said about the excess cash (and why) yesterday in a thread in which this issue was being discussed -- basically, I argue for a massive, one-time share repurchase (no, not for EPS reasons as some might immediately think, since that aspect of it is irrelevant): http://forums.appleinsider.com/showt...69#post1802969

I agree with almost all of your points: no dividend, opportunities, Apple's goals for the cash, no toxic acquisitions, etc.
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