February 23, 2012
External Affairs Branch
Robert Udall Glazier, Deputy Executive Officer
Brad Pacheco, Chief, Office of Public Affairs
Contact: Wayne Davis, Information Officer
CalPERS Applauds Apple Inc. Board for Adopting Majority Vote Standard
SACRAMENTO, CA – The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) today praised Apple Inc. for its decision to implement a majority vote standard for its Board of Directors.
"Apple has honored the wishes of its shareowners with this decision," said Anne Simpson, CalPERS Senior Portfolio Manager in charge of Corporate Governance program. "We strongly commend the Board for adopting this good governance measure and for giving its shareowners a voice in the election process."
Speaking at Apple's annual general meeting today, Simpson said shareholders were giving the Board's decision "a ringing endorsement."
CalPERS filed a non-binding proposal No. 7 at Apple's February 23 annual meeting calling on the company to require that candidates for uncontested seats receive a majority of votes cast to be elected to the Board of Directors. Three major proxy advisory services – ISS Proxy Advisory Services, Glass Lewis & Co. LLC and Egan-Jones Proxy Services – supported the proposal. More than 73 percent of shareowners voting their shares approved a similar CalPERS-backed proposal at Apple's 2011 annual meeting.
Nearly 80 percent of the companies in the S&P 500 and 60 percent in the Russell 1000 have some form of majority voting standard. Through its engagement with companies in which CalPERS invests, 77 companies have agreed to adopt or are committed to adopting majority voting in the past three years, and discussions continue with another 17. Other California-based companies that have adopted some form of majority voting include Cisco Systems, Edison International, PG&E and Sempra Energy.
"This is wonderful news for Apple investors," said Anne Stausboll, CalPERS Chief Executive Officer. "Apple has affirmed a hallmark governance practice that CalPERS has advocated in Corporate America."
CalPERS owned 2.8 million shares of Apple common stock as of December 27, 2011.
CalPERS is the nation's largest public pension fund with approximately $235 billion in assets, providing retirement benefits to more than 1.6 million State, public school, and local public agency employees, retirees, and their families, and health benefits to more than 1.3 million members. The average CalPERS pension is $2,332 per month. The average benefit for those who retired in the most recent fiscal year that ended June 30, 2011, is $3,065 per month. For more information about CalPERS, visit www.calpers.ca.gov.