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Apple shareholders re-elect board of directors

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Despite concerns over the way it handle disclosures relating to the health of chief executive Steve Jobs, Apple's current board of directors were re-elected Wednesday by investors at the company's annual shareholders meeting.

8-member board re-elected

The eight board members approved to serve another year's term include Bill Campbell (CEO of software maker Intuit), Millard "Mickey" Drexler (CEO of retailer J. Crew), Al Gore Jr. (chair of Alliance for Climate Protection, Generation Investment Management, and Current TV), Steve Jobs (Apple's CEO), Andrea Jung (CEO of Avon), Arthur Levinson (CEO of Genentech), Eric Schmidt (CEO of Google), and Jerome York (CEO of Harwinton Capital).

Shareholders also voted down all four proposals drafted by groups of investors who retain enough shares in Apple to suggest changes to the way the Cupertino-based company approves executive compensation, discloses information to its investors, and manages health care.

Proposals voted down

More specifically, the first proposal was advanced by the Teamsters union, which holds 2,569 shares of the company. It asks Apple to report all of the company's direct and indirect political contributions and expenditures, twice annually. Apple's directors say the proposal is "unnecessary and unproductive" and would reveal information on its private negotiations with trade associations to its competitors.

The second shareholder proposal was advanced by the AFL-CIO union, which holds 500 shares of Apple. It asks the board to adopt heath care reform principles outlined by the Institute of Medicine. Apple's directors say the measure will not benefit the company, its employees, or its shareholders, and that health care reform is a matter for the new US President and Congress to address.

A third proposal has been made by individual with less than 100 shares in Apple, but is cosponsored by the New York City Office of the Comptroller (with over two million shares) and Green Century Equity Fund (with another nearly 8,000 shares). It asks the company to deliver a report on sustainability including all corporate strategies related to climate change, the environmental impacts of toxics and recycling programs, and all employee and product safety issues. Apple's directors say the company already reports much of this information on social and environmental issues on its website, and that additional reporting obligations are unnecessary.

The last shareholder proposal is from the AFSCME Employees Pension Plan, a public health union which holds over 21,000 shares in Apple. It request the company issue a shareholders' advisory vote on executive compensation. Apple's directors say that setting executive compensation is the job of the board itself, and that limitations imposed by shareholder voting could have an adverse impact on the company's ability to recruit and retain top talent.

More details later

Apple is restricting journalists and investors from reporting live from the meeting and limiting questions to a select few attendees, but AppleInsider will have a more thorough report on the event a bit later this afternoon. Stay tuned.

Update: AppleInsider forum member 'retiarius' just returned from the meeting and posted some comments.

Update 2: Our full report from Cupertino: Apple shareholder meeting dominated by politics
post #2 of 8
Definitely one of the strongest signs that your shareholders trust what you're doing: when they re-elect the entire slate and defeat all proposals.

That said, I would have liked the environmental one to get through. Not a big deal, but it would have been nice (being, myself, a wingnutty left-wing environmentalist).
post #3 of 8
"Steve's plan to return in June has not changed" -- should give the stock a boost.
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45 2a3 300b 211 845 833
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post #4 of 8
I just returned from the event. There's really nothing "material" to report --
even the usual gadflies (especially Mr. Ehrlich, the dude who disses
Al Gore, the unions, and "socialist" shareholders) trotted out the same
old stuff.

The big event seemed to be the motley crew's rendition of Happy Birthday
to the absent CEO S. Jobs. The tenor was slightly different in that non-executive
members-of-the-board (Levinson & Campbell) fielded questions at the behest
of Tim Cook.

To me, the fact that few, if any, analyst-style financial questions were proffered
shows that shareholders have little to wonder about the business of the juggernaut.
This year, there was no barrage of product strategy questions by the likes of
Prince McLean, which never really get addressed, per regulation FD and Apple policy,
except enigmatically by Steve.

Afterwards, I did ask CFO Oppenheimer about the current rate-of-return
on cash, which he indicated to be about 1%, but even this is grist for
(upcoming) 10Q reports. I congratulated Apple for moving past W. Buffett's
Berkshire Hathaway in cash-net-of-debt (using figures from today's WSJ piece
on Buffett) as well as Exxon a few weeks ago, to become America's (and possibly
the world's) most cash-rich (non-financial) company.
post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by retiarius View Post

I congratulated Apple for moving past W. Buffett's
Berkshire Hathaway in cash-net-of-debt (using figures from today's WSJ piece
on Buffett) as well as Exxon a few weeks ago, to become America's (and possibly
the world's) most cash-rich (non-financial) company.

Was not aware of that article. Thanks.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Was not aware of that article. Thanks.

Correction, the piece about Buffett's dwindling cash pile (which doesn't mention
Apple) is from Barron's, not Wall St. Journal:

http://online.barrons.com/article/SB...968062015.html

Hacking Apple's cash financials is done at plenty of sites, including:

http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/forums/viewthread/75038

As for the Apple meeting, I thought it was amusing to hear from
the Speaker's Corner types how they weren't "socialist", to distance
themselves from the other gadfly Mr. Ehrlich. Some of us don't find
it hard to be both socialist (for basic common needs such as education,
medical care, environment) and capitalist, for gadgetry like the
iPhone and AAPL shares...
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by retiarius View Post


Afterwards, I did ask CFO Oppenheimer about the current rate-of-return
on cash, which he indicated to be about 1%, but even this is grist for
(upcoming) 10Q reports. I congratulated Apple for moving past W. Buffett's
Berkshire Hathaway in cash-net-of-debt (using figures from today's WSJ piece
on Buffett) as well as Exxon a few weeks ago, to become America's (and possibly
the world's) most cash-rich (non-financial) company.

It's nice that you did that. But it seems to me that Apple should be putting that cash into far better use than earning a pathetic 1%. Given how beaten down asset values and VC $$ are in this economy, Apple should be aggressively pursuing "A&D" opportunities -- see where, e.g., Soundjam got them.

The fact that the economy is in a recession does not mean that innovation is in a recession: ideas and entrepreneurs abound, and Apple should be picking off good ones to create platforms, software, and products for the future.

It does not seem to me that there is much activity along those lines (if there were, one would see some references to in their filings, esp. in descriptions of acquisition activity).
post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by vercordio View Post

Definitely one of the strongest signs that your shareholders trust what you're doing: when they re-elect the entire slate and defeat all proposals.

That said, I would have liked the environmental one to get through. Not a big deal, but it would have been nice (being, myself, a wingnutty left-wing environmentalist).

I have to agree about the voting. if the shareholders had an issue with the whole Steve Jobs thing they wouldn't likely vote him back to the board.

as for the health care reform. they are right. Apple ain't the king of the country, such things belong to the government.

and on the environment thing. what the proposal wanted was a repeat of information already being given out. if there was no reporting that would be different. instead they wanted to make more work for someone to prepare a long official statement several times a year. which means more money and time spent on this and less on updating desktops etc.
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