Hello, Apple Shareholders!(if you owned AAPL stock as of January 2nd 2024, that's you! Though it does not include any unvested RSUs you may have from the company, anything that is vested counts!)
We'd like to draw attention to the upcoming annual meeting of shareholders and the fact that you have a say in the matter.
Before the meeting, shareholders can vote for or against a number of proposals coming from either the current Apple Board of Directors or shareholders themselves.
To aid you in that process, we've put together some information and some recommendations on voting, but urge each and everyone of you to do your own due diligence, to start the conversation with one another, to debate the merits, and follow your values when voting.
There is no perfect choice in an imperfect world, but you can start sending a message today about your values.
2024 Annual Meeting of Shareholders
When: February 28, 2024 at 9:00 am Pacific Time
Who Can Vote: Shareholders of record at the close of business on January 2, 2024
More information, and the text of the proposals, is at: the Proxy Statement 2024 PDF
Voting Info and Recommendations
- Board of Directors Nominees
- Ratification of Auditors
- Executive Compensation
- EEO Policy Risk Report
- Report on Ensuring Respect for Civil Liberties
- Racial and Gender Pay Gaps
- Report on Use of AI
- Congruency Report on Privacy and Human Rights
Proposal 1: Board of Directors NomineesApple's board recommends voting FOR the nomination of all. Workers disagree.
We recommend voting FOR Austin. While Austin is a member of the board of directors of Chevron, much of her work has focused on science accessibility and science education.Read more:
How Wanda Austin blazed a trail from public housing to a perch as USC’s acting president
Chevron's Leadership Page On Wanda Austin
Cook has led the company to new and profitable heights. However, this has been done through union-busting and exploitative working conditions. While he has fulfilled his obligations to you, the shareholders, he has not done the same for Apple workers. We have no recommendation.Read more:
Tim Cook lobbying against antitrust legislation
Apple at $3tn: the enigma of Tim Cook
Tim Cook Faces Employee Unrest
Backlash against Tim Cook
We recommend voting AGAINST his nomination. He has previously defrauded the elderly in an illegal nursing home kickback scheme. These ethics have no place at Apple.Read more:
J&J needs a cure: new CEO allegedly had links to fraud
Justice suit accuses Johnson & Johnson of paying kickbacks
Johnson & Johnson Accused of Drug Kickbacks
J&J ran illegal marketing campaigns targeting both young and old individuals
America's most admired lawbreaker
We recommend voting FOR her nomination. While Jung's involvement with multi-level marketing (Avon) might be off-putting to some, we appreciate her commitment to advocating for ending domestic and gender based violence. We hope this commitment to gender equality will allow for less retaliation, and dare we hope active address, at Apple when it comes to pay disparity.Read more:
Andrea Jung's commitment to supporting victims of domestic violence
Teaming up with Avon Foundation for The Communications X-Change
Levinson has been on the board for quite some time, so the considerations to weigh here mirror those with Tim Cook's.Read more:
wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur D. Levinson
We recommend voting FOR her nomination. Lozano has had a concerted interest in racial equity, immigration, and has some experience going against the grain to do what's right (like combating prejudice at the height of the AIDS epidemic).Read more:
wikipedia.org/wiki/Monica C. Lozano
Monica Lozano, President & CEO of College Futures Foundation
Monica C. Lozano Honororary Degree CSU
We recommend voting AGAINST his nomination. Sugar is a director of Chevron and the chairman of Uber. Both are unethical companies with a history of exploiting workers and the environment.Read more:
Uber Names Ex-Northrop CEO Sugar as Chairman After Yearlong Hunt
Ron Sugar, CEO of Northrop Grumman
We recommend voting AGAINST her nomination. She's the founder and current board member of BlackRock, which has had a slew of misconduct and corruption complaints.Read more:
Forbes - Susan Wagner
World's biggest investor accused of dragging feet on climate crisis
latest round of BlackRock executive conduct complaints
BlackRock, the financial giant accused of corruption and environmental damage
BlackRock: The secret world power
Proposal 2: Ratification of Auditors
Apple's board recommends voting FOR the ratification of the appointment of Ernst & Young LLP as Apple's independent registered public accounting firm for fiscal 2024.
We have no recommendation on the matter.Read more:
Big Four Lobby SEC, Lawmakers on ESG Reporting, Audit Access
wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernst & Young
Proposal 3: Executive Compensation
Apple's board recommends voting FOR the approval of executive compensation. This is an advisory vote.
We recommend voting AGAINST Tim Cook’s (and the executive team’s) compensation. This vote is non-binding, but symbolically significant. With Apple conducting soft lay-offs and a continuing uncertainty in big tech, it is still important for executive pay to be cut before jobs are lost.
Proposal 4: EEO Policy Risk Report
This proposal asks Apple to create a report specifying the risks of not including “ideology” and “viewpoint” from its EEO policy. Much like last year’s Communist China Audit, this proposal is tricky. Its source is a far-right think tank, and the proposal itself is explicit that its concern is with the suppression of conservative viewpoints. However, Apple suppresses a wide range of discussion of viewpoints, not only from the perspective of union busting, but in a political sense as well. Both its Muslim and Jewish DNA groups have had their speech suppressed since 7 October. Workers’ attempts to express solidarity with Palestine have been suppressed. The reality is that workers are not free to express their ideology or viewpoint at Apple, regardless of where those views land on the political spectrum. That said, our primary concern with this proposal is its potential use to justify hate speech in the workplace against our LGBTQ+, non-cis, non-male, non-white colleagues. That usage of such an addition to EEO would be unconscionable. We do not support this proposal source, but do believe changes are needed at Apple to ensure workers are able to freely express themselves. We have no recommendation on this proposal.
Proposal 5: Report on Ensuring Respect for Civil Liberties
This proposal asks Apple to report on the criteria it uses to curate apps in its app store, particularly in China. This proposal stems from the American Family Association, and is specifically concerned about the removal of religious apps in China. We recommend voting AGAINST this proposal. Apple’s criteria for its app store are already publicly available. In the case of the removed apps, these are in accordance with local laws rather than a true decision on Apple’s part. While concerning, the issue here is broader than app store curation, instead being a question of Apple’s continued engagement with the Chinese government and a rights-violating regime.
Proposal 6: Racial and Gender Pay Gaps
This proposal asks Apple to report on any racial or gender pay gaps. This proposal comes from Arjuna Capital, which has supported AppleTogether and its efforts to bring about a more equitable workplace in the past. We recommend voting FOR this proposal.
Proposal 7: Report on Use of AI
This proposal asks Apple to report on its use of AI in business operations. This proposal comes from the AFL-CIO, and is concerned with how the use of AI could impact human workers and how the performance of human workers is judged, as well as the sourcing of AI data and its usage in creative industries. We recommend voting FOR this proposal.
Proposal 8: Congruency Report on Privacy and Human Rights
This proposal asks Apple to provide a report on how its commitment to privacy and human rights align with its continued engagement with the Chinese government and Chinese markets. Much like the aforementioned China proposal from last year, this proposal stems from a far-right think tank which is generally not concerned with workers’ rights. This would ordinarily be sufficient to recommend against this proposal; however, Apple’s ties and its actions in China continue to be concerning. The Chinese government does violate its people’s human rights and continues to commit genocide against its Uyghur population. Apple’s stated commitment to human rights while continuing to work with a human rights-abusing government is a contradiction, and throws into doubt how committed to human rights Apple actually is. We have no recommendation on this proposal.