Apple has refused to reveal plans for implementing Steve Jobs’ successor after the company’s future following the CEO’s latest medical leave of absence was called into question at its annual shareholder meeting yesterday.
A proposal made by the Central Laborers’ Fund attempted to force the Cupertino tech giant into revealing its succession plans in the event Steve Jobs is unable to return to his post as the company’s Chief Executive Officer. Jobs, who failed to attend yesterday’s shareholder meeting, is currently on his third medical leave of absence from the firm since being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer back in 2004.
Jennifer O’Dell who made the proposal on behalf of the Illinois based Central Lanorers’ Fund, a company that represents 500,000 construction workers across the US and Canada and holds nearly 11,500 Apple shares, spoke of her distaste at Apple refusing to unveil its successor plans. She said: "We want Steve Jobs to come back to work yesterday. We want him to be here every day. We want him to live forever.”
She went on to add: "That is not realistic and that is why they need to have a plan. And if they have a plan, and I am sure they do, what is wrong with a little transparency?" It was reported last week that Steve Jobs has just six weeks left to live after he was spotted leaving a cancer specialist in California.
Apple is reported to have fought the proposal, which was filed last year, months ahead of Jobs latest leave, stating that revealing such plans would give competitors an “unfair advantage.” Jobs who is more a talisman to the company than just a leader is being replaced in his absence by Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook. Cook, a likely candidate to replace Jobs on a more permanent basis took the reigns from the Apple founder back in 2009 following the CEO’s liver transplant.
Whilst many shareholders are urging Apple to reveal more distinct plans for Steve Jobs prolonged absence, a number of investors have backed the company’s secretive nature. Pam Pallakoff, an Apple shareholder for 20 years reportedly told the BBC: "I feel making such a plan public is unnecessary."
"We feel the management in place is very good management and they will make the right decisions at the time they need to."
The call to arms came on the same day that Apple officially announced its second-generation tablet, the Apple iPad 2 would be formally unveiled next week on March 2nd.