updated 12:30 pm EST, Mon January 6, 2014
Company comes under fire from major shareholders
Apple has updated its corporate charter to address complaints about a lack of women and racial minorities in its executive staff and board of directors, says Bloomberg. During the past few months, two shareholding parties -- Sustainability Group and Trillium Asset Management -- have reportedly met with Apple representatives to discuss the lack of women in Apple's elite. The issue was set to be brought up at Apple's shareholder meeting on February 28th, but the shareholders withdrew those plans once Apple agreed to change the charter.
The charter for the board's nominating and governance committee now states that the committee is "committed to actively seeking out highly qualified women and individuals from minority groups to include in the pool from which board nominees are chosen." The same language has actually been included in the company's proxy for several years at this point, but was never in the charter. On top of this, Apple has promised to continue talking to shareholders about diversifying its executives.
The only woman on Apple's board of directors is one-time Avon CEO Andrea Jung. The only other major female executive on-staff is Angela Ahrendts, who will become the company's senior VP of retail and online stores this spring. It's unclear if Ahrendts was brought on board in response to shareholder criticism.