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Everything went Apple's way at the annual shareholders meeting

Apple Park

Last updated

Apple's annual shareholders' meeting concluded with support for all of its proposals, and rejection of shareholder proposals, despite controversies and disagreements.

Apple held its annual shareholder meeting on February 28, with shareholder proposals pushing for transparency from Apple on AI and addressing concerns held by conservative politicians.

The shareholders of Apple have voted in favor of the company's proposals. This includes approving the appointment of Ernst & Young as Apple's independent registered public accounting firm for 2024. The management proposals, which consisted of the board member vote and compensation vote, were also voted for.

The annual shareholder meeting exists so Apple and shareholders can discuss how the company is operating and meeting goals. This year, shareholders voted in line with Apple's wishes on the following shareholder proposals.

EEO Policy Risk Report

The National Center for Public Policy Research asked Apple to provide a report on the potential hazards related to the exclusion of "viewpoint" and "ideology" from its EEO. It stated there were concerns that Apple's policy may not forbid discrimination based on viewpoint or ideology.

Apple recommended voting against the proposition because a report would not provide material additional information. The company believes it already fosters an environment where every idea is valued and everyone is included.

Report on Ensuring Respect for Civil Liberties

The American Family Association worried about Apple limiting content access within its online services. It accused Apple of helping the Chinese Communist Party by removing popular Quran and Bible applications from the App Store in China. Conservative lawmakers have also criticized Apple's alleged threat to remove X as a "raw exercise of monopolistic power".

Apple's board advised voting against this proposal, noting that it is already beholden to local laws. Apple states it already works to prevent illegal content on the App Store by detailing its standards and complying with government orders.

Racial and Gender Pay Gaps

Apple's board advised voting against the proposal that would have required greater disclosure of employee diversity, stating that the Inclusion and Diversity website already provided comprehensive information. The company also claimed to have achieved gender pay equity on a global scale, as well as pay equity by race and ethnicity in the United States.

Report on Use of AI

AFL-CIO Equity Index Funds asked Apple for a transparency report on their use of AI and ethical guidelines. Unregulated AI could lead to discrimination, mass layoffs, or false information dissemination. Guidelines ensure safe and ethical AI use.

Apple's board advised voting against the proposal as it was deemed too broad and had the potential to reveal strategic plans that could harm their competitive position. Moreover, Apple stated it already provides resources and transparency to use artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Apple CEO Tim Cook effectively repeated what he had previously said on the matter, saying that he was excited to reveal Apple's plans later in 2024. We expect these announcements at WWDC in June.

Congruency Report on Privacy and Human Rights

National Legal and Policy Center asked Apple to report on enforcing its global privacy and human rights policies. The request referred to limiting AirDrop in China and stopping sales in Russia, which do not align with Apple's policies.

Apple's board advised voting down the proposal as it wouldn't provide new information. The company stated that it is transparent about its approach to complex situations while respecting human rights.