Apple is resisting shareholder attempts to force it to publicly reveal its succession plan for when CEO Steve Jobs steps down permanently.
In the light of Jobs' current medical leave of absence – his second in three years – pressure has been growing on the technology giant to go public with its plans. However, the company has urged shareholders to vote against an upcoming proposal that would force it to do so.
Jobs stepped down from active duty last month for undisclosed health-related reasons, leaving the day-to-day running of the company to chief operating officer Tim Cook. Two years ago the Apple boss was sidelined for six months with what was reported as a hormone-related illness.
With Jobs' absence understandably leading to questions over his long-term future at the helm of the booming tech giant, shareholders have urged the company to reveal the “comprehensive succession plan” it promised last month was already in place.
The proposal was initially submitted by the Central Laborers' Pension Fund, and has now been backed by proxy voting service International Shareholder Services (ISS), reports Reuters.
“ISS believes that shareholders would benefit by having a report on the company's succession plans disclosed annually,” the organisation is reported as saying. “Such a report would enable shareholders to judge the board on its readiness and willingness to meet the demands of succession planning based on the circumstances at that time.”
Apple argues that publicly revealing its plans would give its rivals an unfair advantage, and compromise its efforts to recruit and retain executives.