Apple’s annual shareholders meeting took place this morning at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus, and while most of the focus was on shareholder proposals, Apple executives in attendance did have a few interesting tidbits worth sharing.
Shareholders meetings have limited space and shareholders need to register in advance to attend, but multiple people who were there shared details about the meeting on Twitter.
During his opening remarks, Apple CEO Tim Cook commented on the ongoing coronavirus outbreak that has caused Apple to lower its March revenue forecast due to device shortages and store closures in China.
Cook said that the outbreak is a “fairly dynamic situation” and that it is causing “a challenge” for Apple. He went on to say that Apple’s first priority is the health and safety of its employees. “That’s where our energies are,” he said.
Cook was asked why Apple didn’t make an effort to get the rights to the upcoming Friends reunion show that’s going to be on HBO Max when it launches in May 2020. Cook said that recycled content is “not what Apple TV+ is about.” Apple TV+ is “about original programming,” said Cook. “It doesn’t feel right for Apple to just go out and take a rerun.”
During the meeting, Cook confirmed Apple’s plans to open an online store in India in 2020 and a retail store in 2021. Apple has been working for years to establish a presence in India.
On the topic of the environment, Cook reiterated a goal that Apple executives have mentioned many times in the past. Apple’s aim is to “create an Apple product without taking anything from the earth” as part of a closed-loop supply chain, which is why Apple has established robust recycling methods. “This is one of those things people say you can’t do. We’re going to find a way to do it,” he said.
Other Apple executives were in attendance, and software chief Craig Federighi commented on iPadOS after Tim Cook was asked about iPad software being behind iPad hardware. “If you like what you’ve seen us do with iPadOS stay tuned, we’re going to keep working on it,” he said.
As for voting on proposals, which primarily focused on standard business like electing directors, ratifying a public accounting firm, and approving executive compensation, votes went in Apple’s favor and voters sided with Apple’s recommendations.
Apple recommended against three shareholder proposals that were not approved, including a proxy access amendment calling for a second shareholder-approved board nominee, a proposal for a report evaluating the feasibility of including sustainability metrics into compensation plans provided to executives, and a proposal asking for a report on whether Apple “has publicly committed to respect freedom of expression as a human right.”