January 29, 2022

Apple shareholders attack corporate culture of secrecy

Apple shareholders want to know what’s going on behind the scenes at the company, and too bad for the culture of secrecy. Several major shareholders have just requested an internal audit (an analysis conducted by an independent expert) of how Cupertino manages the civil rights of its employees. This request echoes recent Apple cases on the subject, such as the dismissal of Ashley Gjøvik which led to the opening of a government investigation.

L’Apple Park (photo Daniel L. Lu, (CC BY-SA 4.0)).

The group of shareholders that tabled the proposal believes that there would be a gap between the values ​​promulgated by Apple and what is happening internally. They claim that Apple has closed employee pay equity investigations, and also bring up the Antonio Garcia Martinez case. The company’s progress in diversity within its own ranks is considered negligible. All of this runs counter to its multiple public commitments on racial and equity issues. In 2016, a similar audit at Airbnb led the company to put in place a non-discrimination policy.

Recently, Apple also made a request to the government to exclude a proposal from another group of shareholders. These require information on how the company handles non-disclosure agreements and other confidentiality clauses with employees. in the context of harassment, discrimination and other illegal acts “. Following several reports of disgruntled employees (including Ashley Gjøvik and Cher Scarlett), the “Stock Exchange Constable” denied the request. Apple will face a vote on this proposal at the upcoming meeting.

Large companies like Apple regularly ask for permission to ignore shareholder proposals, which is granted in half of the cases according to Reuters. The annual meeting of shareholders is scheduled for the first months of 2022, and should therefore be particularly tense this year even if Apple often ignores the proposals.