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Wednesday, Feb 27, 2013 3:00pm
Apple shareholders' meeting yields controversial votes
Apple has concluded today's annual shareholders' meeting, during which a number of proposals were voted on. Shareholders chose to re-elect the complete board of directors, and also approved items such as Apple's choice of accounting firm and a non-binding advisory vote on executive compensation. A measure that would've required executives to hold 33 percent of their stock awards until retirement was defeated, however, as was an initiative to create a board committee on human rights. Apple has regularly come under fire for the labor practices of its suppliers, although it has taken some steps towards improvement.

During a Q&A session, CEO Tim Cook took time to address several investor questions. He confirmed, for instance, that Apple won't be able to move into its new campus until 2016, and that the company is "seriously considering" funneling more cash to shareholders. On the topic of Apple's poor stock performance since last fall, Cook commented that he knows shareholders are "disappointed" with Apple's share price, but urged them to concentrate on the long term. He hinted that Apple is working on "new categories" of products, without going into detail.

The meeting may be as notable for what didn't happen as what did. A rumored stock split never materialized, and Apple was legally barred from holding a vote on preferred stock. Had it been allowed, shareholders would've had to decide whether their approval should be sought for issuing such stock.