Apple shareholders to vote Friday on executive diversity

If Apple wasn’t in the news enough this week fighting with the feds over encryption, Apple shareholders will gather Friday at the company’s annual shareholder meeting to tackle a tough issue: a proposal to require Apple to diversify the firm’s leadership ranks.

Antonio Maldonado, an Apple shareholder, told NPR that he got the idea after a conversation three years ago about careers with his teenage son.

Maldonado and his son were looking at Apple’s website, which posts the photos of its very top leaders.

“Oh look at that, I’ll be the first person of color up there,” his son noted then.

Maldonado said:

That stuck in my mind, believe it or not. And for three years I did some research and I started challenging Apple directly about this. And unfortunately, they never gave me sufficient answers as to why it was occurring, so I decided to come up with this.

His proposal, which he described to NPR as a “nudge,” is non-binding. It instructs “that the board of directors adopt an accelerated recruitment policy.”

The result would be “to increase the diversity of senior management and its Board of Directors, two bodies that presently fails to adequately represent diversity (particularly Hispanic, African-American, Native-American and other people of colour).”

Currently, five of Apple’s eight board members are white men as are almost all of the 18 executives. There are two African-American female executives.

Apple responded:

We believe that the proposal is unduly burdensome and not necessary because Apple has demonstrated to shareholders its commitment to inclusion and diversity, which are core values for our company.

Chances are Maldonado’s proposal will fail, as have others before it in front of other firms’ shareholders. There have been 57 diversity proposals such as Maldonado’s since 2000 and all have failed, according to Bloomberg, citing research by Institutional Shareholder Services.

Above: Apple CEO hugs Jimmy Iovine, the music industry executive who is now at Apple. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)


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  • FrankieB

    A crock of s***……it’s basically a laundry list of liberal, Democratic special interest groups that would qualify for ‘diversity.’

    Italians ? Irish ? Germans ? White Southeners ? Evangelical Christians ? Fuhgeddaboutit…

    Oh yeah….Asian-Americans will get shafted by this policy. They comprise 30% of APPL’s workforce but are 5% of the U.S. population. Good luck telling Chinese-Americans, Korean-Americans, etc., that their ranks must be reduced.

    Maybe Mr. Maldonado can work to increase the diversity in the next NBA or NFL game that he watches, though I have a sneaking suspicion that won’t be his highest priority.

    • Lafayette Escadrill

      I remember when there was a time, and maybe still is, when it was thought that too many Asian kids were being accepted at UC.

      • FrankieB

        That’s what they are basically saying. But rather than say there are too many of this or that group, they say there aren’t enough of this one. Go tell the Hollywood studios that there are too many of one particular religioius demographic group and not enough of several others — see how open to that kind of “diversity” they are.

        I’d post more but I have to sign off now, I’m busy watching an NBA game with 10 black guys on the court. : – )