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Briefly: Apple shareholder proposal, VLC app removed, Intel tablets


Apple is opposing a shareholder proposal advocating a CEO succession plan for the company, while the VLC media player iOS app has reportedly been removed from the App Store over a licensing disagreement. Meanwhile, an Intel executive has revealed that his company tried unsuccessfully for a long time to get Microsoft to build a tablet operating system.

Sharehold proposal

Apple's opposition to the proposal came to light in the company's 2011 Proxy Statement, which was filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday. The Cupertino, Calif., company's Board of Directors is recommending that shareholders vote against the shareholder proposal entitled "Amend the Company’s Corporate Governance Guidelines to adopt and disclose a written CEO succession planning policy."

According to the filing, the CEO succession policy resolution comes from the Central Laborers' Pension Fund. Voting on the proposal will take place on Feb. 23 at Apple's annual shareholder meeting.

In Apple's statement in opposition to the recommendation, the company acknowledges that its Board already "maintains a comprehensive succession plan" and views the publishing of such a plan as giving Apple's competitors "an unfair advantage."

According to the statement, the proposal would also "undermine the Company’s efforts to recruit and retain executives," as rival companies might attempt to hire away executives listed on the list and executives not listed on the list might choose to leave the company.

The statement also asserts that the proposal "attempts to micro-manage and constrain the actions of the Board" without providing the flexibility needed to adjust to "unanticipated changes in the market."

The filing also details Apple's opposition to a shareholder resolution from pension giant CalPers that advocates a required majority vote for uncontested elections of Board members.

VLC removed

Apple has pulled the VLC video player iOS app from the App Store because of a licensing dispute, MacNN reports.

According to the report, Apple's own App Store licensing terms are in conflict with the open-source GNU General Public License used by VLC. Apple's requirement of Digital Rights Management for apps offered through the App Store goes against the terms of the GNU GPL.

The licensing discrepancy was apparently brought to Apple's attention by VLC developer Rémi Denis-Courmon.

"At last, Apple has removed VLC media player from its application store. Thus the incompatibility between the GNU General Public License and the AppStore terms of use is resolved - the hard way," Denis-Courmon is reported as saying in a blog post. "I am not going to pity the owners of iDevices, and not even the MobileVLC developers who doubtless wasted a lot of their time. This end should not have come to a surprise to anyone."

Intel tablets

After Microsoft announced that it was preparing a version of the next major Windows release for low-power processor designs from Intel rival ARM, an Intel executive said that Intel had been unsuccessfully trying to convince Microsoft to develop a tablet-specific OS for quite some time.

"Hey, we tried to get [Microsoft] to do a tablet OS (operating system) for a long time. Us, and others like Dell," Tom Kilroy, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Sales and Marketing Group told Cnet on Thursday.

Intel has lost substantial ground to ARM in the mobile space, with ARM's designs making their way into successful devices like Apple's iPhone and iPad.

In October, Intel CEO Paul Otellini admitted that the chipmaker is coming from behind in the mobile race, but called the race a "marathon" that Intel will eventually win.

The HP Slate, a joint tablet venture between HP and Microsoft that was announced last year at the Consumer Electronics Show, saw disappointing sales when it was released last fall.