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

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Comments

  • Reply 61 of 92
    newbeenewbee Posts: 2,055member
    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. ...
  • Reply 62 of 92
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,871member
    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 Company?s 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.
  • Reply 63 of 92
    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.
  • Reply 64 of 92
    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.
  • Reply 65 of 92
    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.
  • Reply 66 of 92
    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.
  • Reply 67 of 92
    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.
  • Reply 68 of 92
    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.
  • Reply 69 of 92
    penchantedpenchanted Posts: 1,070member
    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.
  • Reply 70 of 92
    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.
  • Reply 71 of 92
    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.
  • Reply 72 of 92
    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.
  • Reply 73 of 92
    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.
  • Reply 74 of 92
    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.
  • Reply 75 of 92
    penchantedpenchanted Posts: 1,070member
    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.
  • Reply 76 of 92
    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.
  • Reply 77 of 92
    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.
  • Reply 78 of 92
    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.
  • Reply 79 of 92
    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.
  • Reply 80 of 92
    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.



    Smaller groups almost always make better decisions. The more people involved, the more political everything becomes, the more they get distracted by irrelevant factors, the harder it gets to achieve effective consensus. Just contrast a smallish board like Apple's with, say, the U.S. Congress. The only way the latter ever gets anything done is through their rules processes and committees -- i.e., by breaking up into smaller groups and limiting the ability of the body as a whole to override the committee process.
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