Shareholders Report: Nearly 4.8M Votes Against Keeping Jobs on Apple Board


An Apple shareholders' proposal presses for CEO succession plan transparency.
An Apple shareholders' proposal presses for CEO succession plan transparency.

Maybe its a need for Silicon Valley to compete with the Oscar ceremony this weekend in Los Angeles. Maybe its just a slow news day. For whatever the reason, people have gone through Apple’s SEC Form 8-K and discovered almost 4.8 million votes against keeping Steve Jobs on the Cupertino, Calif. company’s board of directors.

Although the Apple co-founder kept his chair, a relative unknown outvoted Jobs as perhaps the most popular board member. Despite not appearing all in black or unveiling some of the sexiest technology, Ronald D. Sugar garnered the most share votes for re-election to the Apple board of directors.

Who is Sugar? Along with being the former CEO of Northrop Grumman, Sugar has pinched-hit for Apple, replacing some well-publicized departures from the board. Last year, following the death of board member Jerry York, a board member since 1997. In January, a Fortune reporter revealed York was the source for stories that Jobs had flown to Switzerland for cancer treatment. York also reportedly became frustrated by Apple’s handling of public disclosures surrounding Jobs’ previous health concerns.

In 2009, Sugar also replaced Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s departure from the Apple board after increasing rivalry between the two companies.

Of course, the voting can’t be seen as a true measure of popularity, given that 70 percent of Apple shares are held by institutions and not easily swayed by personalities. Still, the numbers provide an interesting picture inside the Apple boardroom.

[Fortune, SEC 8-K]