Shareholders easily vote down attempt to make Apple more conservative

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steve jobs theater
A proposal made to Apple shareholders today in the Steve Jobs Theater would require board members reveal their “ideological perspective.”
Photo: Apple

A handful of Apple shareholders argued today that the company’s board of directors needs more conservative voices.

CEO Tim Cook responded that Apple has policies, not political beliefs. And a vote on the conservative proposal found very little support.

Apple shareholders meeting gets political

These discussion happened at Apple’s annual shareholders meeting, held today.

At one point, this clearly got a bit heated. “Conservative shareholder advocate Justin Danhof called Apple’s diversity policy ‘sexist and racist,’“ according to a tweet from New York Times reporter Jack Nicas.

As part of this debate, it was proposed by the conservative group National Center for Public Policy Research that more ideological diversity be required on Apple’s board of directors. This was voted down by 98.3 percent of shareholders, according to Reuters.

Tim Cook says Apple isn’t political

Apple’s CEO weighed in, stating that Apple is in favor of the environment, immigration, diversity, capitalism and privacy. But Cook made clear “These things to us aren’t political things, they’re policies,” according to Ian Sherr from Cnet, in a tweet.

Cook went on to say that the company he leads is “one of the very few companies that doesn’t even have a PAC.” The CEO promised that Apple doesn’t donate “one penny” to political campaigns.

The controversy

Whether Apple is trying to be political or not, the policies Tim Cook stated today run counter to many conservative and Republican beliefs.

Part of the pushback from conservative shareholders comes from Apple’s tendency to put its money where its mouth is. There was a complaint at today’s meeting about a $1 million donation t0 the Southern Poverty Law Center, which exposes hate groups.

In another example, Apple gets the power for all its operations from renewable energy. That irritates climate-change deniers.

And the fact that Tim Cook regularly advocates for immigration and diversity, and against right-wing conspiracy theorists, doesn’t endear him to groups with different opinions.