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Apple shareholders vote down CEO succession plan

apple releaseAt a meeting devoid of CEO Steve Jobs today, Apple shareholders declined to draft a succession plan for its company in the wake of Jobs recent health issues. Earlier this month, some shareholders — namely, the Central Laborers’ Pension Fund — called for Apple to create a plan ensuring a “smooth transition” in the case of Jobs permanent removal as CEO.

While Apple will not be required to outline who would become its leader, according to the Wall Street Journal the company did pass a measure that gives its share owners increased power over appointing directors. Jobs has been on leave for over a month now, and the decision to strengthen the powers of Apple’s shareholders seems a natural one in the midst of his indefinite leave. Regardless, it’s an unpopular decision with Apple.

The newly adopted measure will give California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) more weight to throw around in the company. CalPERS, the largest pension fund in the country, proposed the plan and will become an increasingly influential part of Apple’s decision process when it comes to appointing new board members. Apple had taken a stand against both measures, claiming that releasing a succession plan gave its competitors classified information and that it had no desire to change the mechanics of the board’s operations.