Pressure for Apple CEO succession plan increases

4 Feb 2011

The Institutional Shareholder Services has backed a proposal from an Apple shareholder which asks for a formal succession plan following the medical leave of CEO Steve Jobs.

According to the Financial Times, the influential advisory service endorsed this proposal from the Central Laborers’ Pension Fund.

The proposal, which is non-binding, calls on the board to make public reports on its CEO succession plan.

The Central Laborers’ Pension Fund made similar proposals to other companies last year. Companies such as HP and American Express agreed to them.

Apple does not agree with the proposal and previously said it already has a succession plan in place. The company believes if it reveals its chief executive candidates, the ones named may be poached by other companies and those not named would resign.

However, the Central Laborers’ Pension Fund had said it was not looking for names of the next potential Apple CEO, only the succession plan.

The pressure to make Apple’s succession plan public comes after Jobs’ announcement that he would take a leave of absence.

His reasons for doing so were not disclosed. This is his third leave of absence from the company. In 2004, he left due to pancreatic cancer and in 2009, he underwent a liver transplant.

The proposal may get more votes from investors at an Apple annual meeting on 23 February.