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Apple Corrects Shareholder Vote To Grant Voice On Pay

The company says it expects to see regulations requiring some form of shareholder input on compensation at public companies in the near future.

Apple's shareholders will get a say on corporate pay after all.

In its March 10-Q, filed on April 23, Apple reported that the "Say on Pay" proposal put forward by shareholders "was defeated with approximately 51.66% of the shares present or represented" at its recent annual meeting.

But Apple on Monday said it had miscounted the vote and that it was amending its Securities and Exchange Commission filing with the correct results.

"Very shortly after the original filing, the company learned that these votes had been incorrectly tallied and an internal investigation confirmed the mistake was due to human error, which Apple regrets," the company said in a statement. "Today's amendment correctly reports the voting results."

The amendment changed the voting percentages for Proposals 2, 3, 4, and 5, but only the outcome of Proposal 5 -- "Say on Pay" -- was altered as a result of the recount.

Apple's correction conveniently aligns the company with the increased shareholder interest in compensation that has been a consequence of the financial turmoil in the United States and elsewhere. The company said it expects new regulations requiring some form of shareholder input on compensation at public companies in the near future.

In any event, Apple said it intends to offer shareholders a chance to be heard on compensation issues by next year.

Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research, believes Apple's correction is inconsequential. "I think it's a nonevent," he said in an e-mail. "While Apple prefers to do things its own way, it is realistic, and 'say on pay' is likely to be required of all companies."

InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on the current state of IT salaries. Download the report here (registration required).

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