Angry Apple rebels try to block boss's bumper pay packet

Feb 28, 2013

Tech giant chief Tim Cook tells investors smart new products will boost sagging reputation

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Apple CEO Tim Cook

APPLE shareholders have rebelled against the technology giant's executive pay packages amid growing disappointment over its share price, reports The Financial Times.

At least one-third of investors voted against big pay rises at Apple's annual meeting yesterday in the wake of the firm’s share price losing around a third of its value since last September. Although the majority of investors backed chief executive Tim Cook’s 51 per cent increase in his basic salary to $1.4m (£923,000) the size of the non-binding protest vote is likely to embarrass the company.

Cook acknowledged shareholders' disappointment over the sagging share price, telling them: "I don't like it either. The board doesn't like it. The management team doesn't like it."

He said Apple was aware of the competition from smartphones such as Google's Android, saying the company "don’t have our heads stuck in the sand. What we are focused on is the long term." He also confirmed Apple were looking at products beyond smart phones, music players, tablets and computers, saying they had some "great stuff coming".

The company is rumoured to be developing a smart watch made from bendable curved glass which offers similar features to the iPhone.

Hedge fund manager David Einhorn, who is suing the company in an effort to force it to return more of its $137bn cash pile (the same as Hungary’s GDP) to shareholders, "loomed large" over the meeting despite not attending, according to Bloomberg. Cook labelled the lawsuit a "silly sideshow" but said Apple was in "very, very active discussions" about what to do with the money.

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