Apple includes shareholder proposal on diversity in proxy statement, advises vote against

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2016
Apple, in its 2016 proxy statement issued to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday, decided to let shareholders vote on a contentious proposal that would force the company to add "people of color" to high-ranking management and its board of directors. The letter recommends a vote against, however, saying installed policies not only address diversity concerns, but are much broader in scope.




The proposal in question, referred to as an "accelerated recruitment policy," was submitted by investor Antonio Avian Maldonado II last year and seeks to compel Apple to add non-white members to the board and upper management. News of the proposal that would force Apple's hand made waves when it came to light last week.

Maldonado's proposal:

Shareholders request that the Board of Directors adopt an accelerated recruitment policy requiring Apple Inc. (the "Company") to increase the diversity of senior management and its board of directors, two bodies that presently fails to adequately represent diversity ( particularly Hispanic, African-American, Native-American and other people of colour).

Apple says the proposed diversity plan, which concentrates only on senior management and the board, is inferior to an already implemented approach that seeks to integrate minorities into all facets of the company. Diversity is one of Apple's core values, the statement reads, and existing corporate policy works far beyond the upper echelons of Apple's corporate structure.

Indeed, Apple's -- very public -- strategy includes comprehensive outreach programs, including work with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, a scholarships for students at historically black colleges and universities, and President Obama's ConnectED initiative.

Apple did not offer examples of how it plans to foster diversity among elite management moving forward.

"Our Board of Directors shares this commitment. Pursuant to its charter, the Nominating Committee of our Board of Directors actively seeks out highly qualified women and individuals from minority groups to include in the pool from which Board nominees are chosen, and this has been reflected in our most recent appointments to the Board," Apple said.

Deeming current efforts sufficient, Apple last year argued against including the submittal in its proxy statement, saying Maldonado's proposal is invalid because it constitutes micromanagement. In a letter in response, the SEC disagreed, but noted the decision on whether to include the submittal for shareholder vote ultimately falls to Apple.

"We believe that the proposal is unduly burdensome and not necessary because Apple has demonstrated to shareholders its commitment to inclusion and diversity, which are core values for our company," Apple said in its proxy statement.

According to Apple's most recent diversity report, the percentage of non-white employees has risen since 2014, with Asians and blacks seeing slight increases in representation. Data on upper management gleaned from Apple's EEO-1 report shows a positive one-percent change for Hispanics in top positions, but zero net change for other minorities.
tallest skil
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 39
    I will vote against.
    realistictallest skil
  • Reply 2 of 39
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,272member
    Reverse racism at its finest. 
    jbdragonurahara
  • Reply 3 of 39
    I noticed in the proxy statement Jony Ive's promotion still doesn't require him to be a named officer of the company or have his salary reported. He's never had to publicly report his salary. I's be curious to know how Apple gets around that. Even if he has very few if any direct reports there's no way Apple can claim his position doesn't have a material impact on the company.
  • Reply 4 of 39
    irelandireland Posts: 17,751member
    FFS this is ridiculous.
  • Reply 5 of 39
    irelandireland Posts: 17,751member
    Reverse racism at its finest. 

    I dislike that term. And policy which puts a preference on any race is racist. Simple as.
    edited January 2016 tallest skil
  • Reply 6 of 39
    yeah lets put black indian or whatever in places qualified or not, it not about talent its about everything being fair. get rid of all the white people, they have had their turn
    uraharabuzdots
  • Reply 7 of 39
    ArszyArszy Posts: 11member
    I'm also voting against. It's good to see that Apple has the guts to recommend voting against.
    What I don't understand is how the shareholder who proposed this thinks that hiring less than qualified people based on race will benefit the company he's invested in.  That would be detrimental to Apple, and in the long run, to him as an investor. 
    jbdragonuraharaargonautbuzdots
  • Reply 8 of 39
    When will people understand that Equality means Equal Opportunity NOT Equal Representation! 
    Arszyjbdragonradarthekatrealisticuraharanemoeacargonautpalominetallest skil
  • Reply 9 of 39
    bluefire1bluefire1 Posts: 1,152member
    Affirmative action is bad enough in college admission; now it's trying to assert itself in the private sector. Whatever happened to selecting the best and the brightest?
    edited January 2016 jbdragonArszyrealisticuraharabuzdotstallest skil
  • Reply 10 of 39
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,711member
    When will people understand that Equality means Equal Opportunity NOT Equal Representation! 
    No it doesn't, you've made that up.  Equality is a word that can be used differently in different contexts and mean different things to different people.
    argonaut
  • Reply 11 of 39
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,711member
    I hear there's a specific clause in the proposal that demands that Apple hire minorities irrespective of them having any qualification or talent.

    /s
    argonaut
  • Reply 12 of 39
    What a stupid proposal for an already liberal company.

    The people with the best talent- Apple WILL HIRE them.
  • Reply 13 of 39
    ronnronn Posts: 448member
    Apple, all talk with very little action to back it up. Expand the board -- in fact, create an independent executive committee with no friends that'll rubber stamp Tim & Co, with no more stock option giveaways!! -- and find a few qualified women and persons of color.
  • Reply 14 of 39
    This is an important issue, and one on which Apple has done (IMO) an exemplary job. Tim Cook coming out as homosexual was a watershed event for America. It was, however, one that followed up on decades of leadership in the realm of respecting homosexuals by Apple. The work with Beats and Apple Music has been work that has multiplied the company's exposure to African-Americans. When you look at the company's marketing videos from recent years it's clear that the company respects Americans from all walks of life. And their hiring within retail has also been incredibly diverse - I suspect that the other stores in those high-rent neighborhoods don't have as much diversity in the staff. Dr. Dre is an executive as far as I'm concerned. He is pretty far behind the scenes for now, yes. But he's always been a role model who encouraged people to work hard and be responsible. So that's where I think we're at with this issue. You can't make someone an executive of a unique company overnight. But it's definitely coming.
  • Reply 15 of 39
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,727member
    ronn said:
    Apple, all talk with very little action to back it up. Expand the board -- in fact, create an independent executive committee with no friends that'll rubber stamp Tim & Co, with no more stock option giveaways!! -- and find a few qualified women and persons of color.

    Nonsense.  The board is made of of qualified PEOPLE.  So sad you want to make a specific case that race/sex should enter the decision-making process.  Wrong!
  • Reply 16 of 39
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Voting against.
    irelandtallest skil
  • Reply 17 of 39
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,446member
    Reverse racism at its finest. 

    It's not reverse racism, which doesn't make any sense..  It's reverse discrimination; which is favoring someone simply because they are associated with a group that has been discriminated against. While discrimination is a horrible social issue, it is ironic as it's just as insulting to hire that person based on affinity over skills.
  • Reply 18 of 39
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,446member
    When will people understand that Equality means Equal Opportunity NOT Equal Representation! 

    Equal representation is merely a facade. There's no reason why you'd need to have a person represent people of the same race. That's a racist point of view. Peer representation should be based on ethos; culture, community.

    There's nothing wrong with discrimination as long as it's within the context of whatever that person is being evaluated for. If you're looking for someone who has experience with a specific technology, then you're going to discriminate against those who don't - why would hire someone without the skills needed to get the job done?
  • Reply 19 of 39
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,394moderator
    Let's replace this silly proposal with one that will have a positive effect on shareholder value.  I propose Apple end the practice of reporting unit sales and revenue by product category.  Let's focus analysts on the information that actually matters; overall revenues and profits.  
    palomine
  • Reply 20 of 39
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Let's replace this silly proposal with one that will have a positive effect on shareholder value.  I propose Apple end the practice of reporting unit sales and revenue by product category.  Let's focus analysts on the information that actually matters; overall revenues and profits.  
    Maybe next quarter someone should get a proposal on the ballot to have Apple stop providing quarterly guidance so analysts can do their own bloody homework.
    anantksundarampalomine
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