SAN FRANCISCO Almost a third of Apple shareholder votes cast were in favor of a proposal to disclose a succession plan for Chief Executive Steve Jobs, underscoring investors' worries over who will replace the visionary leader at the helm.
Apple said Wednesday during its annual meeting that the proposal, submitted by the Central Laborers' Pension Fund, had failed to pass. But it did not release details of the vote, raising speculation the proposal had won the backing of a sizable contingent of shareholders.
Succession planning at the world's most valuable technology company has been a hot topic since Jobs announced he was taking medical leave for unknown reasons, with many not expecting him to return to lead the company he founded in 1976.
The fate of Apple is tied to how the iPhone and iPad maker handles the eventual departure of its iconic chief. Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook is now overseeing day-to-day operations at the company.
According to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday, 172.3 million shares were voted in favor of the proposal. Roughly 400 million shares were voted against it, with 3.4 million abstaining. There were 178.3 million broker non-votes.
Apple opposed the proposal, which called on it to adopt and disclose a written and detailed succession planning policy. The company has said it already has such a plan.
(Reporting by Gabriel Madway; Editing by Gary Hill)