Apple executives can breathe a sigh of relief today after two shareholder proposals were voted down.
The tech giant’s annual shareholders’ meeting was held today at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, and, as was to be expected, the majority of voting shareholders fell in line with the Apple board’s positions. Notably, according to 9to5Mac, two shareholder proposals were voted down: One would have explored tying executive pay to sustainability efforts, and the other would have required the company to regularly report to its shareholders “whether [Apple] has publicly committed to respect freedom of expression as a human right.”
For its part, Apple’s board opposed both of the proposals. In its official recommendation against the sustainability proposal, the board claimed that Apple already does plenty for the environment and, anyway, that the proposal is only one piece of a large sustainable puzzle so why even bother voting for it in the first place?
“An effective approach to ‘sustainability,’ as that term is defined by the proponent, requires more than simply tying executive compensation to the achievement of environmental, social, and governance goals,” reads the opposition.
Again, the proposal would not have tied executive pay to sustainability metrics. It would have mandated that Apple simply explore this possibility. Even this, it seems, was too much for the board.
The second rejection of note was in response to a group of shareholders who wanted Apple to, annually, report back to them on its policies regarding “freedom of expression.” In other words, they wanted the company to be upfront about decisions like, say, its questionable decision to pull VPN apps from the Chinese version of the App Store in 2017.
“Apple sells products and services in countries whose governments limit free expression and punish dissent,” correctly notes the shareholder statement in support of the proposal. “Apple has cooperated with requests made by the government of China to restrict free expression and access to information.”
As such, the shareholders requested an annual “description of the actions Apple has taken in the past year in response to government or other third-party demands that were reasonably likely to limit free expression or access to information.”
The Apple board, uh, wasn’t feeling this proposal either and urged shareholders to vote against it. As per usual, the board got its wish.