updated 06:30 pm EDT, Thu August 9, 2007
Apple investors vote
A round of votes on shareholder proposals concerning executive compensation and options backdating at Apple show increasing investor desire for regulation of the way company managers are paid, and the methods by which they are awarded option grants. Although the measures failed to carry a majority, some of the proposals -- calling for links between stock performance and executive pay, a ban on options backdating, among others -- garnered 40 percent or more of the share votes, meaning they held strong appeal among investors other than those who originally broached the proposals.
TheStreet reports that over 41 percent of shareholders voted in favor of a proposal from the Amalgamated Bank LongView Collective to explicitly ban backdating of stock option grants. "This was just shy of the 46% that voted against the measure. About 13% of shareholders abstained." Another proposal, seeking to establish a stronger link between executive compensation and the company's stock performance relative to peer stocks, won 38% support with about 1% of shareholders abstaining. Finally, a third narrowly failed proposal would have given shareholders a non-binding vote on executive pay packages at Apple's annual meeting.
"Apple's management recommended voting against all three measures on grounds that they would inhibit the company's ability to recruit and retain talented executives and engineers. The company's board includes several independent directors, which, Apple said, would keep executive compensation in line with industry norms," reported TheStreet.