Activist investors will put increasing pressure on Apple

The Financial Times claims that Apple will face increasing pressure from activist investors as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) allows more shareholder decisions to go to the polls.

He notes that while (former) big investors like Carl Icahn used to have the biggest impact on Apple, these days there are more small investors with a popular goal…

The FT notes that Apple eventually met Icahn’s share repurchase requirements.

In 2013, Carl Icahn took over the largest company in the world. The activist built a 1 percent stake in Apple, condemned his “ridiculous” hoarding, demanded a $ 15 billion share buyback and threatened to force shareholders to vote […]

Although Icahn’s buyout recipe was not complied with, Apple significantly increased shareholder payments. The company paid its first dividend in 2013. It now returns more than $ 100 billion a year to shareholders.

Small investor activists now have more power

Although Icahn subsequently sold its AAPL holding, FT ‘Business leader Tom Braithwaite says it is now more about the content of the shareholders ’proposal than the size of the holding company.

Oddly, Apple seems more susceptible to activist pressure than it was from Icahn. A new type of activist buys small stakes and uses them to promote shareholder decisions. The newly formed sympathetic Securities and Exchange Commission facilitates this, allowing decisions to be initiated when officials could have previously helped the company remove them from the ballot.

Apple announced on Thursday the proposals that will be voted on in March. They include six shareholder proposals ranging from banning closure clauses for employees who suffer discrimination to increasing transparency about how a company removes apps from its App Store.

9to5Mac’s Take

We have long argued that Apple must apply the same long-term thinking to reputation issues as it does to its product development strategy. The company should be ahead of changes in public and political perception, and not lag behind.

For a company whose job is “skating to where it will be again”, I am amazed at how badly the company does when it comes to reputation issues.

For each of the big problems that brought the company bad publicity this year, Apple has taken its usual “we know best” approach. When he made the changes, he was dragged away by hitting and screaming at his changed position, instead of taking the lead.

Activist investors can successfully put pressure on Apple’s board, and occasionally even force change, but that’s the way it looks, much better if the company takes the initiative.

This year’s annual meeting of shareholders will be virtual, and will be held on March 4.

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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