Some Apple shareholders are getting antsy now that Steve Jobs is on medical leave again. A small number of them will be asking Apple to release its succession plan at a shareholders meeting scheduled for Feb. 23. The group is represented by the Central Laborers’ Pension Fund, and has the support of proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services.
The proposal is receiving coverage since it signifies recognition of the possibility of Apple without jobs. On the other hand, the group controls just 11,500 shares, accounting for .001 percent of all of Apple’s shares. Not only will the group have to contend with more powerful shareholders, but with the Apple Board too, which opposes the release of any contingency plans for a Jobs-less future. The board says such succession plans are not only in place but also reviewed annually, and releasing them to the public would encourage rival companies to bid for the loyalty of other top executives. The loss of top brass, they say, would pose an even greater threat to Apple.
“Furthermore,” Apple claims, “executives who are not identified as potential successors may choose to voluntarily leave the Company.”
Laborers International claims that there request has been wrongly interpreted by Apple. “We do not expect them to provide specific names of future executives, but merely demonstrate they have a plan in place for naming one.”