The California Public Employees' Retirement System honored Apple Computer Inc. and three other companies for contributions to corporate governance and improvements in shareholder returns.
Aside from Apple, the $170 billion CalPERS, Sacramento, honored the board of directors of Texas Instruments Inc.; Gerald M. Levin, chairman and chief executive officer of Time Warner Inc.; and retiring General Motors Corp. independent director John G. Smale.
Apple Computer, formerly on CalPERS's "focus list" of underperforming companies, received a companywide honor for its turnaround, attributed to its new board of directors, a new senior management team, a new relationship with arch-rival Microsoft Corp., and the introduction of the iMac computer.
The Texas Instrument board was honored for its extensive good practices in corporate governance and for its financial performance. Among the practices for which it was commended: keeping open lines of communication between the TI board and senior management to ensure the board does not rely solely on the CEO for information.
Mr. Levin was honored for his responsiveness to shareholders of Time Warner.
GM's Mr. Smale was praised for his work in leading the company to re-examine its fundamental governance process, including a CEO succession plan.