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Apple shareholder story updated with closing price and added source commentary.



) --


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shareholders voted down a proposal that would have required the tech giant to

reveal the succession plan

for its next CEO.

With CEO Steve Jobs out on his

third medical leave

from the iPhone maker, investors were focused on Apple's succession strategy during the firm's annual investors' meeting at its Cupertino headquarters Wednesday.

An Apple employee brings computers into Apple's headquarters during the firm's shareholders meeting on Wednesday.

Shareholders, however, rejected a proposal from the Central Laborers' Pension Fund for a "detailed" plan, according to the


, which cited preliminary voting results.

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The result marks a victory for the Apple board, which urged shareholders to nix the bid. In a regulatory filing earlier this year, Apple argued that the Fund's proposal, if implemented, would publicize Apple's confidential objectives and plans.

James Post, a Professor at Boston University's School of Management and expert on corporate governance, told


that the result was hardly out of the blue. "It was no surprise that shareholders voted down the proposal calling for an open discussion of succession plans," he said in an email. "The board has consistently refused to publicly discuss succession issues in wake of Steve Jobs' health problems."

Post argues, however, that Jobs' critical role at Apple makes the state of his health a "material fact" and says that investors buy and sell based on this information. "This puts the board in the position of having to be transparent and consistent in their disclosure policy and practice," he said.

In Jobs' absence, Apple

COO Tim Cook

has been handling the company's day-to-day running, and is widely regarded as the CEO's likely successor.

Cook is certainly


with the role of Steve Jobs' stand-in. He has taken the company's reins on two prior occasions; for two months in 2004 when Jobs was receiving treatment for pancreatic cancer, and again for six months in 2009.

Apple, which recently posted impressive

first-quarter results

, is expected to continue its momentum with the launch of new products next week.

The second version of the iPad may make its debut at a March 2 event in San Francisco, according to the

Wall Street Journal's All Things Digital


Shares of Apple rose $4.01 to close at $342.62 Wednesday.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

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