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APPLE shareholders demand a succession plan

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APPLE shareholders demand a succession plan

By , February 5, 2011

Influential investor advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services has thrown its weight behind a shareholder proposal to require Apple to disclose a succession plan for chief executive Steve Jobs.
The proposal backed by ISS, a proxy voting service, was submitted by the Central Laborers’ Pension Fund.

Last month, Apple CEO Jobs stepped away from the company on medical leave for an undisclosed condition. Chief operating officer Tim Cook is now overseeing day-to-day operations.

“ISS believes that shareholders would benefit by having a report on the company’s succession plans disclosed annually,” ISS said, according to a release from the Laborers’ International Union of North America.

“Such a report would enable shareholders to judge the board on its readiness and willingness to meet the demands of succession planning based on the circumstances at that time.”

An Apple spokesman was not immediately available for comment. Apple is recommending its shareholders vote against the proposal at the company’s annual meeting on February 23.

In a regulatory filing last month, Apple said it has a “comprehensive succession plan” but divulging such a plan would give its rivals an unfair advantage, undermine its efforts to recruit and retain executives, and constrain its board.

Reuters

Craig West

Craig West

Managing Director | Succession Plus

Craig West is a strategic accountant who has over 20 years’ experience advising business owners. His background as a CPA in public practice, provided invaluable experience in the key issues of concern to business owners. Following 6 years of study to gain two masters degrees, Craig focused on Capital Gains Tax (CGT) for business sales advising on strategic management of tax issues. This experience formed a very strong view that business owners (and often their advisers) were unprepared and unaware of the steps required to prepare a business for exit.

Craig now acts as a strategic mentor for mid-market business owners and has written four critically acclaimed books on employee incentives, succession planning, asset protection and exit strategies. Craig has conducted numerous seminars and keynote presentations throughout Australia & internationally, including adviser education programs for the Institute of Chartered Accountants and CPA Australia.