Numerous press reports last week said Apple CEO Steve Jobs survived an organized campaign by some shareholders of The Walt Disney Company to vote against retaining him as a director of the company due to his poor attendance record at board meetings. Disney has now filed the actual vote tally with the SEC and it shows no sign of an organized campaign of any significance against Jobs.
All 13 directors were re-elected because they received more “for” votes than “against” votes. The count wasn’t close for any of the nominees, since all received more than 1.2 billion “for” votes. But when it came to “against” votes, Jobs wasn’t tops – in fact, he came in fifth with just under 181 million, while he drew 1.24 billion “for” votes.
Both ISS and Glass Lewis had recommended that institutional investor clients vote against retaining Jobs on the board due to his attendance record and health issues. Glass Lewis had also recommended voting against all five members of the board’s compensation committee.
Drawing the most “against” votes was Fred Langhammer, former CEO of The Estée Lauder Companies and currently the firm’s Chairman, Global Affairs. He is Chair of the compensation committee at Disney and drew nearly 210 million “against” votes vs. 1.21 billion “for” votes. Three other members of the compensation committee – Susan Arnold, Aylwin Lewis and John Pepper Jr. also received more “against” votes than Jobs. The fifth member of the committee, John Chen, was in 6th place for “against” votes behind Jobs.
RBR-TVBR observation: It looks like CEO Bob Iger is quite popular with Disney shareholders. He got the most “for” votes – over 1.4 billion – and the fewest “against” votes – just under 19 million.