Person

Antonio Maldonado

Antonio Avian Maldonado II is an Apple, Inc. investor most notable for submitting shareholder resolutions calling for an accelerated diversity recruitment policy in the company’s upper management and board of directors. [1]

After Proposal No. 6 was rejected by voters in 2016, Maldonado resubmitted his proposal with the help of the “shareholder activism” investment management firm Zevin Asset Management in 2017. [2] The proposal received an even smaller percentage of support in 2017, and Apple now has the right to block similar proposals through 2020. [3]

Diversity Proposal

Antonio Maldonado is the creative director for a music company. It was while reviewing Apple’s website with his son, that Maldonado was first bothered by Apple’s lack of diversity in its upper management. While Maldonado admits that Apple has “a great diversity program,” he continues to point out the lack of diversity in the company’s upper ranks. [4]

Antonio Maldonado is the owner of at least $2,000 in Apple stock, which allows him to propose a shareholder motion. [5] Maldonado approached Apple about his diversity concerns at its Annual General Meeting (AGM), and was unsatisfied with Apple’s justification of its diversity numbers. Despite Apple pointing out that its human resources director is a person of color, and that it has both Hispanic and black members in their upper management, Maldonado sees these identifications as merely “tokenism” on the part of Apple. [6]

Maldonado submitted his proposal, called “Proposal No. 6,” for a vote at Apple’s AGM on February 26, 2016. The resolutions would have required the Apple board of directors to “adopt an accelerated recruitment policy.” [7]

Maldonado’s proposal states that Apple’s board and senior management “presently fail to adequately represent diversity (particularly Hispanic, African-American, Native-American and other people of color).” His proposal was vague about what specific actions would be required from Apple, only asking Apple “to assist investors in evaluating the company’s effectiveness in meeting its commitment to equal opportunity and diversity in senior management and board of directors, in any meaningful way that would not cause the company to breach the assurances of confidentiality and privacy that it has made to its employees.” [8]

Ahead of the February vote, Apple filed a proxy statement stating that Maldonado’s proposal is “unduly burdensome and not necessary.” Apple has already demonstrated to its shareholders that it values inclusion and diversity. The company supports female and ethnic minority students, and has a policy of actively seeking out “highly qualified women and individuals from minority groups to include in the pool from which Board nominees are chosen.” [9]

Proposal No. 6 was rejected at the 2016 AGM, receiving less than five percent support from voters. [10] With the help of Zevin Asset Management, an investment management firm that practices “shareholder activism,” Maldonado re-introduced his proposal at Apple’s AGM on Febraury 28, 2017. [11] The proposal was again overwhelmingly rejected, with over 95 percent of the vote opposing it, more so than the year before. Because the vote received less than six percent support, Apple has the right to block this proposal, and other similar proposals for the three years following the 2017 AGM. [12]

References

  1. Hern, Alex. “Apple Board Argues Against Shareholder Diversity Proposal.” The Guardian, January 19, 2016. Accessed November 17, 2019. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jan/19/apple-board-argues-against-shareholder-diversity-proposal. ^
  2. Shah, Agam. “Apple’s Commitment to Diversity Faces Test at Shareholder Meeting.” PC World, January 31, 2017. Accessed November 17, 2019. https://www.pcworld.com/article/3163510/apples-commitment-to-diversity-faces-test-at-shareholder-meeting.html. ^
  3. Kastrenakes, Jacob. “Apple Shareholders Overwhelmingly Reject Diversity Proposal.” The Verge, March 1, 2017. Accessed November 17, 2019. https://www.theverge.com/2017/3/1/14781854/apple-shareholders-reject-diversity-proposal-for-second-year. ^
  4. “Confronting Homogeneity in Apple’s Boardroom.” NPR, 2019. Accessed November 17,2019. https://www.npr.org/transcripts/467573806?storyId=467573806?storyId=467573806. ^
  5. Hern, Alex. “Apple Board Argues Against Shareholder Diversity Proposal.” The Guardian, January 19, 2016. Accessed November 17, 2019. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jan/19/apple-board-argues-against-shareholder-diversity-proposal. ^
  6. “Confronting Homogeneity in Apple’s Boardroom.” NPR, 2019. Accessed November 17,2019. https://www.npr.org/transcripts/467573806?storyId=467573806?storyId=467573806. ^
  7. Hern, Alex. “Apple Board Argues Against Shareholder Diversity Proposal.” The Guardian, January 19, 2016. Accessed November 17, 2019. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jan/19/apple-board-argues-against-shareholder-diversity-proposal. ^
  8. Hern, Alex. “Apple Board Argues Against Shareholder Diversity Proposal.” The Guardian, January 19, 2016. Accessed November 17, 2019. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jan/19/apple-board-argues-against-shareholder-diversity-proposal. ^
  9. Hern, Alex. “Apple Board Argues Against Shareholder Diversity Proposal.” The Guardian, January 19, 2016. Accessed November 17, 2019. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jan/19/apple-board-argues-against-shareholder-diversity-proposal. ^
  10. Dickey, Megan Rose. “Apple Shareholders Make Another Push to Increase Diversity a the Senior and Board Levels.” Tech Crunch, February 2, 2017. Accessed November 17, 2019. https://techcrunch.com/2017/02/02/apple-shareholders-make-another-push-to-increase-diversity-at-the-senior-and-board-levels/. ^
  11. Shah, Agam. “Apple’s Commitment to Diversity Faces Test at Shareholder Meeting.” PC World, January 31, 2017. Accessed November 17, 2019. https://www.pcworld.com/article/3163510/apples-commitment-to-diversity-faces-test-at-shareholder-meeting.html. ^
  12. Kastrenakes, Jacob. “Apple Shareholders Overwhelmingly Reject Diversity Proposal.” The Verge, March 1, 2017. Accessed November 17, 2019. https://www.theverge.com/2017/3/1/14781854/apple-shareholders-reject-diversity-proposal-for-second-year. ^
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