Apple has fended off shareholder calls to reveal its succession plan for when CEO Steve Jobs is no longer in charge of the company.
With Jobs currently sidelined from day-to-day duties by his second extended medical leave of absence in three years, shareholder groups had called for a vote to force Apple into making their plans public, but the proposal was defeated at the company's annual shareholder meeting.
There was some speculation ahead of yesterday's meeting that Jobs himself would surprise everyone by being in attendance. But in the end his presence wasn't required to squash the vote.
Jennifer O'Dell, who spearheaded the Central Laborers' Fund proposal to force Apple's hand, pointed out that the only issue at hand was one of transparency.
“We want Steve Jobs to come back to work yesterday,” O'Dell told the BBC. “We want him to be here every day. We want him to live forever.
“That is not realistic and that is why they need to have a plan. And if they have a plan, and I am sure they do, what is wrong with a little transparency?”
Apple – in typical fashion – rejected the calls from the start, claiming revealing its succession plan would give its rivals an unfair advantage.
Jobs has been sidelined with a mystery illness since mid-January, though he did appear alongside US president Barack Obama last week to receive a special award. The company's next high-profile public event is next week's iPad 2 launch, with Jobs seen as highly unlikely to appear on stage.
O'Dell suggested the shareholder group would refile the motion again next year.