Apple’s 2018 Annual General Meeting was held today at Apple Orchard’s Steve Jobs Theater, the first time Apple held its shareholder meeting in the new campus. Although no surprise occurred during the voting process, Apple CEO Tim Cook also dished out some details about the Apple Watch, Apple Pay and his heirs.
As reported by reporters at the scene, Apple prepared six agenda items for its shareholders’ meeting:
a) Voting eight current candidates on the board of directors, including James Bell, Tim Cook, Al Gore, Bob Iger, Andrea Jung, Art Levinson, Ron Sugar and Sue Wagner;
b) To approve the appointment of Ernst & Young as Apple 2018 Independent Certified Public Accountants;
c) vote on the resolution of approval of administrative compensation;
d) vote on a plan to approve a revised Apple non-employee share capital;
e) if proposed at the annual meeting, vote on the shareholders’ proposal put forward in the proxy form;
f) Deal properly with other business that may occur before the annual meeting is postponed or postponed.
Site reports said the general meeting started with a video showing “consumers using Apple Smartwatch,” followed by Katherine Adams, Apple’s new chief lawyer, detailing stock details and investor rules prior to the vote. Adams recently replaced Bruce Sewell as General Counsel for Apple.
Somewhat funny is that in the vote re-election board, a shareholder refused to vote in protest against Apple’s software development direction. Site reports said the shareholder was unhappy about Apple abandoning its support for Aperture in 2015 and still using iOS 9, saying Apple is losing its connection with working people.
The second shareholder questioned even the Apple board only two female directors, the third person is more concerned about the performance of Apple’s mobile phone, she said her son dropped the phone into the toilet, asking Apple when to improve water resistance.
It is worth noting that one shareholder questioned the qualifications of some board members and asked Apple to provide more information about them.
Following the re-election of the Board, the second to fourth agendas, as detailed above, were quickly approved.
Shareholders also demanded that Apple create a human rights commission, including research on children’s addiction to the iPhone. Earlier this year, the issue caught the eye, prompting Apple to pledge to increase parental control.
Apple said its audit committee has assumed many of the responsibilities of the Human Rights Commission, but shareholders hope the new committee will do more than the audit committee.
As usual, management’s objections to shareholder proposals have not been approved. Proposals V and VI (management objections) received only 32% and 5.6% of the votes in favor.
Although there are few surprises in the voting process, most of which have been done by mail in advance, questions and answers between shareholders and Cook are often more interesting.
After the Q & A session began, Cook first claimed that iPhone X’s customer satisfaction was as high as 99%. However, 1% of users who are always annoying are not satisfied! Cook recently announced that since the launch in November last year, iPhone X has sold more than other Apple phone models. He also revealed that Apple has nearly 1 billion subscribers (including services such as iCloud and Apple Music), so it is about to usher in a new milestone.
On Apple Watch and other wearables, Cook said the services are already close to the Fortune 300 companies. Cook said last summer that so-called wearable devices (watches, AirPods, Beats and others) have reached the Fortune 500 companies.
On the acquisition, Cook said Apple acquired 19 companies in 2017 and is likely to make more acquisitions this year. In addition, Apple invested 12 billion U.S. dollars in research and development in 2017. Apple employs about 123,000 full-time employees and plans to add another 20,000 in 2018.
Cook also briefly talked about the company’s continued efforts to improve employee diversity, then quickly moved to store-managed content.
Cook was asked the first question is the succession plan of Apple CEO. One shareholder said she was pleased that technology media abandoned the topic of “Cook’s CEO is not as good as Jobs,” but asked who Apple would replace him in the future. In response, Cook said his job is the need to elect internal candidates, but Apple’s board may choose external candidates.
On the topic of mobile payments, Cook said Apple Pay did not actively replace cash as he had expected a few years ago, but penetration is accelerating, especially outside the United States. Jennifer Bailey recently admitted that half the U.S. suppliers accept Apple Pay, while Eddy Cue said Apple Pay is private and he does not know the exact number to be used.
On Health and Technology Cook continued, he believes Apple can make a difference because it is not focused on Medicare and Medicaid, which are not always the best for patients.
Subsequently, the topic shifted to the tax reform, which is a hot topic for Cook. He, for the most part, on many companies earned outside the United States, but Apple did not return them to the United States because they considered the tax rate too high. Now, Apple plans to convert 350 billion U.S. dollars of overseas cash back to the United States and invest in the U.S. economy.
When it comes to oral health and blockchain technology, the general meeting of shareholders has entered a timeout situation, so there is not much discussion on these two issues.
One shareholder proposed a “special dividend” to Cook, but Cook claimed he did not like the idea of a “special dividend,” but Apple would continue to increase its dividend to investors.
Another question asked the future of Apple’s retail stores and praised Angela Ahrendts. As Ahrendz often said, Cook responded that Apple does not think physical retail should disappear and that the company will continue to invest around Apple’s retail stores.
Finally, just like the usual shareholders’ general meeting, the last problem is that investors request to visit the new campus. To this Cook said that the visitor center in the apple orchard is built to achieve this goal, because most of the work of the apple orchard are in a state of secrecy.