4. Advisory vote on frequency of say-on-pay votes -- approved
Apple's board asked shareholders to vote for a one-year cycle for votes on executive compensation packages and plans.
5. Rules for charitable giving -- rejected
The National Center for Public Policy Research proposed that Apple release a report each year on its website that explains how the company chooses recipients for charitable contributions, the "business rationale" and purpose of the contributions, as well as a list of people who helped make the decision about the recipients. The organization also wanted to receive a follow-up report to ensure that the money was used for the stated purpose.
"Absent a system of accountability and transparency, some donated assets may be misused and potentially harm the company's reputation and shareholder value," the organization wrote in its proposal. "Current disclosure is insufficient to allow the company's Board and shareholders to evaluate the use of corporate assets by outside organizations."
The National Center for Public Policy Research went on to note that Apple donated to an openly left wing organization, the Center for American Progress, which is "controversial" to do in the current political climate.
For its part, Apple argued that it already discloses enough information about its core values and contributions on its website, and that "the requested report would do nothing to advance these philanthropic activities." The company said that its time is better used elsewhere.
6. Increasing diversity of senior management and the board -- rejected
One highly-publicized concern going into the meeting was the lack of diversity on Apple's mostly-white board. In 2015, Apple investor Tony Maldonado submitted a shareholder proposal calling for Apple to address its lack of diversity. Only five of Apple's top 107 executives are black, Hispanic, Native America or Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, Maldonado claimed in an op-ed for USA Today.
His proposal got 5.1% of the vote last year and only 4.91% of the votes this year.
In this year's proposal, Maldonado and Zevin Asset Management requested that Apple be required to increase the diversity of senior management and its board of directions. The lack of diversity is a "business risk."
"Shareholders believe that companies with comprehensive diversity programs, and strong commitment to implementation, enhance their long-term value, reducing the company's potential legal and reputational risks associated with workplace discrimination and building a reputation as a fair employer," the proposal said. In addition, a more diverse board would increase creativity and reduce the "groupthink" at the company, they argued.
Apple argued that its efforts to increase diversity are "much broader" than the "accelerated recruitment policy" that the proposal puts forth. Instead of focusing on Apple's senior management and Board, the company takes a more "holistic" view extending to anyone who wants to work in the tech sector in the future.
Loup Ventures founder Gene Munster agreed with Apple, saying it does more than most companies when it comes to fostering diversity. Any tech company would resist this proposal simply because of the broader issue of the "makeup of the workforce" that would limit Apple in who it hires, Munster added.