What you need to know
- Apple shareholders have rejected a proposed board report on freedom of expression.
- The proposal would have made provision for a yearly board report on how Apple handles freedom of expression, access to information, requests to remove apps and more.
- It was birthed after months of controversy surrounding Apple in nations like China, Hong Kong, and Russia.
Apple shareholders have rejected a proposal to have its board report annually on how the company deals with freedom of expression and access to information.
Up for vote at the meeting on February 26 were several proposals, including a measure that would have linked Apple's executive pay to its performance when it comes to environmental sustainability. Both of these proposals, along with a third that would have allowed shareholders to nominate two board members were rejected.
Management proposals all approved by @Apple investors. Shareholder proposal #4 gets healthy vote. @ZevinAssetMgmt’s proposal #5 w good vote for first year. And amazing support for @SumOfUs prop on #humanrights & free expression! Lots of signals to $AAPL board. All is not well. pic.twitter.com/1dL6rysmmb— Pat Miguel🌹Tomaino (@Pat_Tomaino) February 26, 2020
We reported on the proposal back in January, and its introduction stated:
Resolved: Shareholders of Apple Inc. ("Apple" or the "Company") request that the Board of Directors report annually to shareholders, at reasonable expense and excluding confidential and proprietary information, regarding the Company's policies on freedom of expression and access to information, including whether it has publicly committed to respect freedom of expression as a human right; the oversight mechanisms for formulating and administering policies on freedom of expression and access to information; and a 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 proposal received backing from several outside groups including non-profit advocacy organization SumofUs. Despite this, Apple recommended voting against the proposal, and shareholders duly obliged.
As mentioned they also rejected a proposal suggesting that Apple's executive pay should be linked to its performance when it comes to environmental sustainability. However, Apple reiterated its commitment to the environment. As Yahoo reports:
Speaking after the shareholder vote on Wednesday, which was officially a preliminary vote, Cook stressed Apple's commitment to sustainability, noting that it's "running the company with 100% renewable energy."
Apple is also "working on recycling in a big way, and our ultimate objective is to be able to create and manufacture an Apple product without taking anything from the Earth. This is another thing that people say you can't do, but we're going to find a way to do it," Cook said at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple's Cupertino headquarters.
At its shareholders meeting, Apple also confirmed that its new India store will not open uintil 2021.
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