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Apple Investors Vote for More Power

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Apple's investors passed a rule at its annual meeting Wednesday that gives them more say over who gets elected to the board of directors.

    The new decision requires directors to be elected by majority vote and was opposed by Apple, according to Bloomberg Businessweek, and shows that Apple's investors want more say in choosing its board members.
    The new rule could also mean shareholders can overrule Apple management. ((Another issue up for a vote, requiring more disclosure on company succession, was rejected.)
    One of the biggest proponents for the new measure was the California Public Employees' Retirement System, the nation's biggest pension fund and owner of 2.6 million Apple shares.
    "We're asking for an election, not a coronation of the board," Anne Simpson, senior portfolio manager at Calpers, said. "An election where you can be voted in without a majority is unworthy of a great company like Apple."
    The new measure may have stemmed from investors feeling that chief executive Steve Jobs had too much power over the board, which prevented it from discussing Jobs' health. Jobs left Apple last month on an indefinite medical leave.
    It's understandable that investors want to know more about what's going on in a company that it's supporting. For better or for worse, Jobs is seen as one of Apple's assets and shareholders want as much information as possible on his condition and his future. If that means granting themselves more power over the board of directors, then so be it.