Apple agreed to implement a CalPERS shareholder proposal calling for directors on Apple's board to be elected by a majority vote, the company announced at the start of its annual meeting Thursday, said Steve Dowling, Apple spokesman.
“It was clear from the preliminary voting shareholders wanted Apple to adopt majority voting” and the company's board of directors agreed, said Mr. Dowling.
Shareholders voted 80% in favor of the proposal sponsored by the $234.3 billion California Public Employees' Retirement System, Sacramento, said Mr. Dowling, providing the voting result.
Implementation “will require changing (corporate) bylaws and articles and won't happen until next year” because the change will require a shareholder vote, Mr. Dowling said.
In the spirit of the proposal, “each director today offered to tender his or her resignation if they didn't get a majority of votes” in Thursday's election,” Mr. Dowling said. As it turned out, all directors were elected with overwhelming majority votes ranging from 81% to 98%, Mr. Dowling added.
Anne Simpson, CalPERS senior portfolio manager in charge of its corporate governance program, said shareholders gave the the board's decision “a ringing endorsement,'” according to a CalPERS statement.
All of Thursday's voting results are preliminary, Mr. Dowling said.
Last year, some 73% of Apple shareowners supported a similar proposal, also sponsored by CalPERS.