Apple investor's shareholder proposal could force racial diversity among leadership

Posted:
in General Discussion edited December 2015
Apple might be forced to add "people of color" to its senior ranks if an investor submitted resolution is voted through at an upcoming 2016 shareholders meeting, though the company contends the proposal constitutes micromanagement and is therefore invalid.




According to Bloomberg, investor Antonio Avian Maldonado II, a businessman who owns 645 Apple shares, was in September compelled to submit a proposal for an "accelerated recruitment policy" by his teenage son, who after browsing through pictures of the company's directors asked why most were white.

Apple's board is "a little bit too vanilla," Maldonado told Bloomberg. "I want to nudge them to move a little bit faster."

Apple told the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it is actively attempting to hire minorities, but in the end "has no power to ensure that its recruits will accept offers." The proposal is an attempt to micromanage Apple's recruiting efforts and should therefore not be put to shareholder vote, the company said.

In a letter dated Dec. 11, the SEC said it disagrees, but noted the choice to include Maldonado's proposal in the company's annual shareholders meeting is ultimately up to Apple. Excluding the submittal could result in regulatory action.

For its part, Apple is making an effort to create a more racially diverse workplace. According to the company's diversity report, the percentage of non-white employees has risen since 2014, with Asians and blacks seeing slight increases in representation.

The Bloomberg report incorrectly states Apple's website shows a decline in blacks and Hispanics in leadership roles. An interactive graph contains employment data current as of June, with gender, race and ethnicity distribution broken down by tech, non-tech, leadership, retail and retail leadership roles. That level of granularity is not provided for 2014, but can be gleaned from the provided 2014 EEO-1 report (PDF link), which reveals a positive one-percent change for Hispanics in top positions. There was no notable change, positive or negative, for other minorities in Apple's upper echelons.

Workplace diversity is a critical issue not only for Apple, but for the entire high tech industry. More recently, it was reported this week that Twitter hired away Apple's head of diversity, Jeffrey Siminoff. It is unclear who will fill the now vacant position.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 79
    Hey, I am "of color". Perhaps AI member-shareholders can demand that the shareholders vote me in? I promise to regularly bring up all of your concerns -- even those of @sog35 -- with Mr. Cook. Every day.

    I am only half joking (but I'll let you figure out which half)......

     B 
    edited December 2015 icoco3hodar
  • Reply 2 of 79
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,818member
    Yeah... let's bring people to the board based solely on the color of their skin.  Sounds racist to me.

    fyi... I'm a minority and all this politically-correct crap is getting old.
    mwhitelord amhranSpamSandwichewtheckmanalruitdknoxcornchiplostkiwidamn_its_hottallest skil
  • Reply 3 of 79
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,040member
    Now, Affirmative Action is enforced in a private sector. Wtf is wrong with these dumb ass investors? Let's say they want A Somalian VP and or Cambodian Sr Director? That's fine as long as these have right skills and talents. I'm tired of this political craps which run company to the ground. Fuck that...and I'm a minority, Asian actually.
    edited December 2015 mwhitelostkiwi
  • Reply 4 of 79
    Relax.  This resolution will not be voted through.
    alrui
  • Reply 5 of 79
    Apple can add more ASIANS - who are also people of color.  
    Obviously there are a ton of ASIANS in the tech industry.
    Even Microsoft's CEO IS ASIAN.

    Prof_Peabody
  • Reply 6 of 79
    Insane. 
    tallest skil
  • Reply 7 of 79
    Is there any consideration for the Apple employee population - outside the US borders? It would seem to me that the SEC would need to consider those 'minorities' too in the total picture. Apple is already more diverse than these Wall Street idiots realize. Pick a different battle.
    radarthekat
  • Reply 8 of 79
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,402moderator
    Well, my 9000 shares (9200 after today's session) will offset his 645 and those of everyone else who would vote for this.  Apple is already leading the.effort to diversify tech company work forces, starting with their own and with very public messaging. 

    And I thought we were supposed to not look at the color of a person's skin.   Isn't it discrimination to do so, whether favoring a member of a majority or a member of a minority?  
    SpamSandwichewtheckmanpalomineicoco3tdknoxlostkiwidamn_its_hotthepixeldoc
  • Reply 9 of 79
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,720member
    I didn't think 645 shares was enough under the new rules to bring proposals to the floor. That's actually a very small amount considering how many shares AAPL has. As for ethnic diversity, that has more to do with where Apple is located and the capabilities of all its employees. Apple is a high-tect company with various kinds of support staff. I'm not going to start any arguments about what type of jobs men or women are best suited for but lets start with the visible management roles. It's not Apple's fault if the pool for "people of color" (what does this actually mean? everyone except lily white British?) managers is small. The problem is broader than just sticking people into a position, they actually need to want to be there. As others have said on this forum, isn't it about time we move forward and make getting a good education for everyone a priority? Just about everyone in the US has some "color" in them and many of the historical "people of color" have other "colors" in them ranging from "white, brown, yellow, and black." (I really hate using these terms and differentiating people based on the apparent color of their skin. It's gotten really old and doesn't get us anywhere. I thought Star Trek showed that people of all colors, races, and planets of origin could ultimately get along. We seem to have forgotten that just like we forgot all about the peace movement of the 60's. 
  • Reply 10 of 79
    Utter and absolute foolishness. Hire those who are most qualified for the job and who cares what color their skin is. Any human being regardless of race or gender who wants the work then do what it takes to become the most qualified. Now later on if it's clear Apple didn't hire the most qualified because of gender or race address it then. Plugging in a token person of color in an absurd attempt to be politically correct is a waste of time. This 600 something share holder needs to teach his son about the need for Apple to innovate in their products not their executives skin color.
    lostkiwitallest skil
  • Reply 11 of 79
    boredumbboredumb Posts: 1,418member
    I, too, am a person of color...it's a sort of pinkish-whitish-cream color.
    I feel like I'm the victim of racism here, because I'm quite certain that
    pinkish-whitish-cream-colored people are a global minority...
    I think I may or may not be joking about the half Anantksundaram isn't.
    tallest skil
  • Reply 12 of 79
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,648member
    I would worry about the teenager son who has clearly a racist view on the matter.
    Statistically speaking with a 10th of the U.S. population 'black' the current board has a correct representation.
    But of course thinking in this way is plainly wrong, 'positive' discrimination is still discrimination and as such has no 'positive' component.
    radarthekatdamn_its_hottallest skil
  • Reply 13 of 79
    If this is what our country has come to it is pretty sad. I am colorblind. Simple as that. Most people today hire based on skill sets and potential. Are they a "fit". Race is only an issue in the media, those with a personal agenda (mostly politicians) and to those who don't let go of the past. We need to stop letting these outlets poison this country.
    radarthekattdknoxcornchiplostkiwi
  • Reply 14 of 79
    This is nonsense but why do I get the feeling Apple will say that and then all of sudden there will be a person of color in the SVP ranks. I'm convinced the only reason they updated the executive page on Apple's website to include VPs reporting to Cook is so that page would look more diverse (he has two women of color reporting to him). 

    How does one one define diversity anyway? Eddy Cue is Cuban (his first name is Eduardo, middle name Horacio) and speaks fluent Spanish. Their chip guy who was recently promoted is from Israel. Jony Ive is British, Tim Cook is gay, Angela Ahrendts is female. Is diversity only defined by having a black person in the executive ranks?
    Prof_Peabodymuppetryjbishop1039tdknoxcornchipmaxitlostkiwi
  • Reply 15 of 79
    Dismal. Daddy the shareholder should've taught junior a valuable lesson about hard work and overcoming obstacles. Instead, the idiot pandered to his clueless child's wishes. Bad parenting!
    radarthekatlostkiwi
  • Reply 16 of 79
    msanttimsantti Posts: 1,377member
    sog35 said:
    So this is Tim Cook's Apple.

    Wasting TIME and RESOURCES on silly diversity CRAP, instead of articulating the VISION of the company.  This is an absolute FAILURE by Cook.  Instead of voting for diversity I want to vote to FIRE COOK ONCE AND FOR ALL.

    Guy is a waste of money. Paying him HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS and he has ZERO idea how to defend the stock price.  FIRE HIS ASS IMMEDIATELY

    I will call Apple out at times when I think it is necessary but this is going pretty overboard IMO.
    edited December 2015 SpamSandwichlostkiwi
  • Reply 17 of 79
    knowitall said:
    I would worry about the teenager son who has clearly a racist view on the matter.
    Statistically speaking with a 10th of the U.S. population 'black' the current board has a correct representation.
    But of course thinking in this way is plainly wrong, 'positive' discrimination is still discrimination and as such has no 'positive' component.
    Exactly. 'Positive discrimination' is racism in disguise. Not only that, but it actually helps to FUEL racism and make it worse.
    lostkiwitallest skil
  • Reply 18 of 79
    When are people going to realize Affirmative Action PS nothing but Government sanctioned racism.  Ancestry DNA determined that I have 6 percent African American DNA so therefore I am a person of color...
  • Reply 19 of 79
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,471member
    sog35 said:
    So this is Tim Cook's Apple.

    Wasting TIME and RESOURCES on silly diversity CRAP, instead of articulating the VISION of the company.  This is an absolute FAILURE by Cook.  Instead of voting for diversity I want to vote to FIRE COOK ONCE AND FOR ALL.

    Guy is a waste of money. Paying him HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS and he has ZERO idea how to defend the stock price.  FIRE HIS ASS IMMEDIATELY.
    Your self ban is in effect...
    SpamSandwichthepixeldoc
  • Reply 20 of 79
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,398member
    Right person for the job, not box ticking.
    When you start hiring people because they only fill a minority and nothing else, all hope is lost.

    If you go into hospital, do you want the specialist who has all the experience or someone who was hired just to tick a box?
    cornchiplostkiwitallest skil
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