Apple had its annual shareholders meeting today, a valuable ticket given, among other things, that it was held at the new Steve Jobs Theater a few hundred yards from the Spaceship, aka Apple Park, in Cupertino today. Here are the main items from the proceedings:
- Lots of boring stuff (Ernst & Young was named as accounting firm of record for 2018! Proxy votes!)
- The meeting started with a video about the Apple Watch. CEO Tim Cook said the Watch business is now approaching the size of a Fortune 300 company. He had previously said it was the size of a Fortune 500 company. The smart money is that next year he’ll say Fortune 100.
- Cook said Apple Pay has not replaced cash payments as fast as he thought it would a few years ago. He thinks paper money is dumb. (Apple is accepted at about half of U.S. retailers now.)
- Shareholders proposed that Apple create a human rights committee to handle, among other things, the problem of smartphone addiction. Shockingly Apple management opposed the idea. It failed.
- One shareholder complained about not knowing who some of the board members are, or if they’re qualified, and asked for more information. Another asked why Apple’s board contained only two women.
- Cook said Apple acquired 19 companies in 2017 and wants to eat more in 2018. Mmmmm. The company spent $12 billion on research and development last year, and expects to add about 20,000 new employees in 2018.