NPR: ”Confronting Homogeneity In Apple’s Boardroom”

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during an event at Apple's headquarters Oct. 16, 2014 in Cupertino, California.

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during an event at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California.

”Apple shareholders will be voting on a proposal at the annual meeting Feb. 26. It’s a proposal that the company opposes, which calls for the tech leader to increase diversity in its senior management.

Antonio Maldonado owns more than $2,000 worth of stock in Apple and he’s been pushing the company to increase what he calls an “abysmal” lack of diversity at the top level. In 2015, the company had one Hispanic and four African-American members among the 103 people Apple considers executives, senior officials and managers. Seventy-three of those top executives were white men.

“They believe that they’re making a lot of progress and that their numbers are great in upper management. And [my belief] is actually quite the opposite,” Maldonado told NPR’s Michel Martin.

He says he first became interested in this issue while discussing tech careers with his son. “We were reviewing the website for Apple. And he just made a quick quirp and just said ‘Oh look at that, I’ll be the first person of color up there.’

“That stuck in my mind, believe it or not,” he says. “And for three years I did some research and I started challenging Apple directly about this. And unfortunately, they never gave me sufficient answers as to why it was occurring, so I decided to come up with this.”

Maldonado’s shareholder proposal requests “that the board of directors adopt an accelerated recruitment policy,” which would require Apple “to increase the diversity of senior management and its Board of Directors, two bodies that presently fails to adequately represent diversity (particularly Hispanic, African-American, Native-American and other people of colour).”

Apple’s board opposes the proposal. The company argues it “is unduly burdensome and not necessary because Apple has demonstrated to shareholders its commitment to inclusion and diversity, which are core values for our company.” Company lawyers also said the proposal would “micro-manage” hiring decisions and that it was impossible to implement because it would “require the candidates the Company recruits” to accept job offers…..”




The Board Director Training Institute (BDTI) is a "public interest" nonprofit in Japan dedicated to training about directorship, corporate governance, and related management techniques. It is certified by the Japanese government to conduct these activities as a regulated nonprofit. Read a summary about BDTI here, and see a menu of its services for both corporations and investors here.

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