Apple Shareholders Vote Down Investors’ Proposals

February 28, 2014 by Paul Ausick

At the company’s annual shareholder meeting Friday morning, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) investors have rejected all the proposals put forward by shareholders for a vote. Activist investor Carl Icahn had already withdrawn his proposal for the company to increase its share repurchase program.

Shareholders re-elected its entire board of directors and backed a plan to give more shares to employees who work in areas believed to be critical to Apple’s future success; individuals who are “highly valuable to the company;” and new hires who are designated as “essential.” The new stock award program is expected to last until 2017.

Another company-supported proposal that was approved eliminated the board’s authority to issue preferred stock. Last year hedge-fund manager David Einhorn pushed a proposal for the company to issue perpetual preferred stock to existing shareholders which would pay a dividend while still allowing the company to retain a substantial cash hoard to use for corporate purposes. Today’s vote takes such a move off the table.

Investors also approved an advisory vote on compensation tying executives’ pay more closely to stock performance. Apple had already agreed to the changes.

Shareholders rejected a proposal to create a board committee on human rights and a proposal that the company disclose any memberships it has in trade associations or other business organizations. Apple management opposed the plan.

In other news from the meeting, CEO Tim Cook told shareholders that Apple sold more than $1 billion worth of Apple TV set-top boxes in 2013, saying the device is no longer a “hobby.”