Apple could be forced to add more ‘executives of color’


diversity Apple
Apple is stepping up its pro-diversity game.
Photo: Apple

Apple could be forced to add more non-white executives and directors, due to a proposal put forward by an investor who thinks the current makeup of Apple execs is “a little bit too vanilla.”

The possible pro-diversity push was reportedly prompted after the son of investor Antonio Avian Maldonado II, who owns just 645 Apple shares, asked why nearly everyone on Apple’s board of directors was white.

“I want to nudge them to move a little bit faster [for the sake of diversity],” Maldonado said.

Maldonado submitted a proposal for an “accelerated recruitment policy” back in September that will be voted on at Apple’s upcoming shareholders meeting, yet to be scheduled.

Apple, however, insists it’s making efforts to change — and dismisses the proposal as an effort to “micromanage” its recruitment.

“[T]he company has no power to ensure that its recruits will accept offers,” Apple told the Securities and Exchange Commission, concerning the challenge of making such rapid changes.

Apple’s diversity issues were in the news earlier this week after Twitter hired away Apple’s Director of Worldwide Inclusion & Diversity, Jeffrey Siminoff, prompting a backlash online in some corners after it was revealed that he was a white male.

Speaking personally, stories like this one do way more harm than good. Trying to address complex issues like the racial makeup of executive boards by insisting on quota systems (suggested by a teenage boy) appears to be a recipe for disaster.

I definitely want to see equality of opportunity for people at every level of the business world, but picking on a progressive, pro-diversity company like Apple is misguided at best.

Isn’t the whole point of eliminating racism about ignoring the color of people’s skin in favor of their credentials and success? Looking arbitrarily at a photo of an executive board and assuming that there’s racism at play impugns the company unfairly. Without any evidence or context, these types of proposals say more about the views of the person doing the looking than the people in the photo.

What do you think of this hot-button issue? Leave your comments below.

Source: Bloomberg

  • Bill Moody

    Just to say, I think ‘looking arbitrarily at a photo’ and inferring racism conflates racism with prejudice. Looking at a photo and making a judgement is prejudice. What can’t be seen in the photo is the institution of racism or the politics of racism. Thanks for the article because if a world leader like Apple can start addressing the issues honestly and publicly then we are all due a better future.

  • SBacklin

    Well, people can who do the job, who can do the job well and have the best experience/credentials should get the position. Race should play no part. If they are white, fine, if they’re black, fine. I hope Apple resists such BS. What that person saw and such is exactly what’s wrong today, people want diversity even if it’s at the expense of skills, experience and credentials. It’s total crap.

    • woke

      What exactly is “racism” to you? Because you surely can not be racist towards a white person who only benefits from the institution of racism. Avian is teaching his son the true meaning of racism that so many can’t seem to wrap their heads around. All those white people are in those positions because they were offered more opportunity from the very moment they we’re born, meaning that in the end, they got the position due to the advantage of their skin pigment.

      • SBacklin

        You’re full of it. Seriously. You’re part of the problem with racism in this country. By saying its right to push for people to be in certain positions just because of their skin color is just flat out wrong. If someone can show me that Apple purposely ignored people of color that had more skills, experience and credentials than the white people currently there, I’ll say I was wrong on this. People who cry racism all the time are the same people who help cause it by this very kind of thing. Prove to me or whomever that those white people who got those positions just because they’re white and I’ll back down, until then, I will continue to say that Avian is teaching his kid racism because he immediately tries to push Apple to have diversity while completely ignoring the obvious potential fact those people most likely had better skill sets and credentials.

      • mindbomb2000

        Actually Woke’s point is correct. I don’t think he’s saying that you should NOT hire a white male because he’s white, he’s simply saying that white males have a distinct advantage from birth. That being said, I don’t think that “quotas” is necessarily the answer, but we can’t continue to deny that a white male has an advantage and it is a topic to be explored.

      • macguy59

        Lay out for me this construct of white males having a distinct advantage from birth.

      • macguy59

        Playing the white privileged card gets more humorous every time it’s invoked. It’s a socially constructed concept to make the dominant groups in society feel guilty

      • Rob A.

        “…you surely can not be racist towards a white person…,” “…the true meaning of racism…,” “All those white people…” I love it!

  • josephz2va

    Pushing for diversity won’t help much if the experience in performing the job isn’t met. Apple would have to return to poaching and buy Samsung’s execs, Sony’s execs, Toshiba’s execs, not sure if Nabisco whom plans to build an Oreo plant in Mexico has experienced execs, but you have 4 diversity execs there. But it’s about the experience that makes Apple a success.

    • SBacklin

      That’s exactly why this whole “they need diversify” is crap. Look at who applied, who wanted the position and look at the skill sets. This kind of crap just infuriates me because race should never play a part in these situations and I don’t believe it did in this particular case either.

      • macguy59

        “They” would question the skills sets that are required. “They” want rules and guidelines to be rewritten, allowing for a more diverse (read less qualified) pool of candidates. Here’s the thing . . . it’s not about whether the (insert any gender and race) person across the street from you can come up with a better way to tackle a problem or make widget. They most likely can. It’s about whether they have the ability (education and/or experience) to do that on a consistent basis. I have seen this quota system in action. It. Does. Not. Work

  • This is absolutely ridiculously insane! Some teenager says “How come all those guys are white Dad?” and it becomes an issue where race, equality and political correctness take precedence over skill, talent and ability. We live in a supposedly free country, where a company should be able to hire who it chooses, and then live or die based on the ability of those it hires. To insert this artificial guideline based on race and gender instead of ability is a recipe for disaster. RACE AND GENDER HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH BUSINESS! The only governing factor that has any place in the executive structure of a publicly held company, or any company for that matter, is “can they do an effective job.” That’s it!

    What really fries my cookies is the idea that somehow Apple is racist by having only white guys on their board, as if this fact demonstrates some deep, dark prejudice against women and people of color. Hogwash! No company should be forced to hire anyone they don’t believe in.

    When you get boneheads following the “let’s be fair to everyone”, “let’s include everyone” in the executive hiring game, you know one thing: These people have never had to work for a profit making company. This is a viewpoint that is the territory of lawyers and politicians, not business executives. I don’t care what race or gender Apple executives are, just so long as they continue to produce great products that people love.

    • SBacklin

      That was also my point I was trying to make in an earlier post. When it comes to jobs, skills, experience and credentials will take precedent, not race. Now, if a company chose a person based on skin color that had lesser of those three over someone else, then yes, we’d have a problem. The whole idea of affirmative action crap where people care about having diversity of skills, experience and credentials is total BS.

  • How about if I went into a company owned and run by a black (or Asian) person and staffed by black (or Asian) people, and demanded that they MUST hire some white guys to even up the race bias? How well would that be received? It’s none of my business! A business owner/executive MUST be free to hire anyone he/she feels is capable of doing the job, and the choices he/she makes determine whether the company profits and survives. Arbitrary “equality” rules based on race have no place in business.

    • Chris Allum

      That is infact the point people need to get away from White owned, Black owned, Asian owned and so forth. IF you are a multinational corporation they yes in 2015 we should expect diversity. Racism does exist and it definitely happens in the corporate world. Just like women are paid less than men. People have every right to question something. You simply don’t get it because you are not a minority. Same way a white person goes into a room full of black people or vice versa you are going to make that observation. CEO and high ranking people in multinational corporations tend to be white. I’m sure there are many people who are not white that are qualified but 9 times out of ten a white person may get chosen over an equally qualified person of color.

      • macguy59

        Diversity is a solution in search of a problem. Call it what it is. Quota’s. For a 10 member board what is the acceptable % of minority seats. 2 ? 3 ? 5? Should it reflect the most recent US census data ? If it’s a problem , it’s one solved at the eduction level. Not laid at the feet of business owners.

    • SBacklin

      It wouldn’t be well received at all. Could Apple possibly have made decisions based on race in some closed door meeting? Sure. We weren’t there for the execs hiring process. I’m choosing not to live in a “victim” bubble. I believe for the most part that people in jobs are chosen based on their skills, experience and credentials. If someone wants to go cry Apple is racist just because they happen to have white execs, fine, prove it, if they can show definitive proof, I’ll be the first to say I’m wrong. Until then, they need to stfu and quit crying victim. My god people, they have a gay CEO, I seriously doubt that Apple is full of hate in their top echelon.

  • Chris Allum

    I kind of think some of these comments are missing the point. Generally speaking there are many people with different skin colors that I am sure are more than able to do the job, the issue lies in if skin color became the final determining factor. Lets be real racism exists and as we can see by the mishap with Apple in Australia it can happen within Apple as well. Possibly to someone that’s White it looks like nothing but to someone of Color the question has popped into our minds. Their board does lack diversity and that’s just the truth of the matter. I’m sure white people aren’t the only ones capable of having a high ranking position in Apple. I am in no way saying this IS in fact the issue with Apple but it surely does not have to be dismissed as one of the possible reasons.

  • Lucus Bendzsa

    This is sooooo Stupid. People get jobs if they are good at them not their skin color. If idiots like these people want to diversify Apple and get less talent involved go ahead idiots!

    • woke

      I’m going to guess that you are white and have therefore never experienced racial prejudice when it comes to looking for a job, because the message flew right over your privileged head.

      • SBacklin

        Except the fact that choosing someone based on race is a form of racial prejudice in itself. It goes both ways.

      • macguy59

        Bill Maher has declared reverse discrimination doesn’t exist !

      • Lucus Bendzsa

        By requiring more diversity a white guy with more skills than a black man may get overlooked because they need more diversity.

    • mindbomb2000

      Actually this isn’t true. I’ve actually been hired over a minority who was MORE qualified, simply because I was a white male. I once applied for an apartment, and got it the next day without them even calling my references or employer. I later talked to a black neighbor who had the exact opposite experience. They called every reference (and even asked him to supply an additional one), they called his employer and made him supply two tax returns (I gave them a pay stub). To deny thea white privilege exists is quite ignorant.

      • Rob A.

        Got an apartment without reference or employment check? That doesn’t pass the sniff test; I’m calling BS on this one. Even racist landlords care about getting paid, and there are plenty of white deadbeats in America to worry about. This sounds like it was based on Eddie Murphy’s SNL “Mr. White” sketch. Sorry folks – that’s not how white Americans behave when we’re all alone with each other…

      • mindbomb2000

        Sorry, but it’s true. No call to the boss (Small design co, no HR dept.). I actually called them back because I was worried my application didn’t get submitted as none of my references or my boss had received a call. I attached my credit report and don’t know if they confirmed it. Don’t know if they confirmed my bank account either. Apt. Manager was Asian, BTW.

        The job example is true as well.

        I’m aware that these are anecdotal examples, but they are true.

        And that sketch is brilliant. Peace.

  • Jack Hickman

    You’ve got to consider the percentage of whites vs. non-whites in that particular field.

  • You know what’s really unfair — good looking people get hired much more quickly than ugly people! I’m not particularly good looking, so I’ve had to get by on talent and skills all my life. I’ve always felt the prejudice of being attractive-impaired and in my younger years it bothered me quite a bit that employers often judged me by the way I looked. Take a look at Apple’s executives. While not movie stars, there’s not one you’d call ugly, and that’s just wrong! I think we should start an Equality for Ugly People campaign to force Apple to hire looks-challenged individuals into their upper ranks so that it would really be diversified. Now that would be progress!

  • I’m trying to determine his Latino ethnicity. All I find is something about being an owner or director, investor of a hair salon in London(!).


  • daryl

    Can they hire me I am available

  • endlessgrowthdoom

    insecure monkeys ev where looking to feel a little more special. where are the stats of insecurity vs race. might go along well with the cranial capacity vs IQ data of races

  • daryl

    Where can I send my resume

  • Nathan

    As soon as a company is forced to add anyone to its team, the company suffers. The company needs to add the best people for the job – if that happens to be someone of colour, fantastic.

  • frank

    Using this rationale, the NBA should be be under attack until there are equal non-black players in the league.

  • Rob A.

    Board members are hired for long-term (years to decades) background, history and experience, whereas employees are hired for specific here-and-now skill. Although it IT possible to find “diverse” candidates for ordinary positions while screening out white male applicants, the fact is that the pool of board candidates is going to reflect the industry’s past: who was holding these jobs 30 years ago? Who was getting these particular college degrees? Who was changing the industry? The demographics revealed by the answers to those questions may displease those of the diversity mindset, but changing the past is not possible – do what you can here and now (which is not to say I support pushing aside white male applicants; being neither sexist nor racist, I can’t do so).

    “…prompting a backlash online in some corners after it was revealed that he was a white male…” Sheesh. In the words of Ted Clubberlang, “my God, America is imploding.”