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Apple starts offering proxy access to give shareholders more power over board of directors

Roy-Zipstein-Apple-Shanghai-01

The Wall Street Journal reports this evening that Apple has amended its bylaws to make it easier for long-time shareholders to nominate to the company’s board of directors. This makes Apple the latest company to adopt what is commonly referred to as “proxy access.”

Apple revealed the change in a securities filing. Details include that a shareholder of 3% shares for 3 years, or a group of up to 20 shareholders, can now nominate to the board in the company’s annual proxy statement. Shareholders can nominate up to 20% of Apple’s directors, which with Apple’s 8 member board, comes out to one director position that is controlled by the shareholders.

In a securities filing, Apple said its board of directors had adopted amended bylaws Monday that allow a shareholder, or a group of up to 20 shareholders, holding 3% of its shares continuously for three years to include board nominees in the company’s annual proxy statement.

The bylaw allows shareholders to nominate up to 20% of Apple’s directors. Apple’s board currently has eight members, so shareholders could nominate one director.

 This move on Apple’s part allows for its shareholders to have an increased say in control of the board of directors and candidates competing for a spot on the board.

Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Apple, Board of directors, executive, sec

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Chance Miller

December 22nd

Apple

Mac

PicoBrew’s Zymatic Beer Making Machine Made A Brewer Out Of A Noob Like Me

Zymatic by PicoBrew PicoBrew is a beer-centered startup in Seattle, founded by brothers Bill and Jim Mitchell and Avi Geiger. The machine at the heart of their operation is The Zymatic—an apparatus that simplifies beer-making by reducing the need to monitor the cooking process of creating Wort (unfermented beer). Did their device turn a beer drinker like me, with zero brewing experience, into a beer maker? Read More

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Jay Donovan

July 3rd

Gadgets

VP Lisa Jackson promoted to oversee all of Apple’s environmental, political, and social affairs

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 9.37.45 PM

Apple today has updated the biography of Lisa Jackson on its executive leadership webpage, noting that she is now Vice President of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives. Previously, Jackson was the VP of Environmental Initiatives only. The promotion will allow Jackson to take over leadership of all governmental affairs and public policy teams, according to Apple.

Tim Cook announced the change in a memo to employees, obtained by The Washington Post. In the memo, Cook explains that in her new position, Jackson will be even more able to work towards Apple’s central goal of leaving the world better than it was found.

Jackson’s executive bio on Apple.com also notes that she is now responsible for Apple’s policy programs when it comes to education, including its ConnectED program. The full addition to Jackson’s bio is below:

She is also responsible for Apple’s education policy programs such as ConnectED, its product accessibility work, and its worldwide government affairs function.

Earlier this year, Lisa Jackson was put in charge of boosting accessibility efforts, as well. Jackson originally joined Apple in 2013 having previously served as the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The executive reports directly to CEO Tim Cook and is centrally responsible for Apple’s efforts to minimize its impact on the environment and be as green and eco friendly as possible.

The full memo from CEO Tim Cook to his team is below:

Team,

At Apple, we’ve dedicated ourselves to leaving the world better than we found it. And we are making real progress. I am proud and inspired when I see how our products and our people are improving lives around the world. This is what happens when we focus on putting our core values front and center in our products and operations.

Today, Apple is an industry leader in renewable energy, elimination of toxics and protecting working forests. As you know, Lisa Jackson joined us two years ago and we could not have come this far without her leadership on environmental initiatives across our company.

There’s much more to do, not just on the environment, but on other issues we value such as human rights, education, and accessibility of our products to those with physical or developmental challenges. Apple can and will play an important role in each of these areas. Already, we are actively working with 114 schools in the U.S. through our ConnectED program. We are putting more accessibility tools in the hands of our wonderful app developers. And we have made our voice heard on public policy issues that affect us including clean energy and equality. These issues are critical not only to us, but to our customers, our shareholders, and in the communities where we all live and work.

So I’ve asked Lisa to lead our work in these areas and to take on a broader role as vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives. Lisa will apply her passion and her unique skill set to integrate teams across Apple and make our impact even greater. As part of her new role, Lisa will also take over management of our worldwide Government Affairs function. Lisa already interacts regularly with governments around the world so she is a natural for this new role leading our public policy teams.

You can expect to see us create even more innovative programs which drive progress on these issues and others we care about most deeply.

Lisa will be the first to tell you, we have a long way to go and a lot to learn. But, like to many things at Apple, great challenges inspire us to work harder and aim higher.

Please join me in congratulating Lisa on her new role.

Tim


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Apple, executive, Lisa Jackson, Vp

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Chance Miller

June 24th

Apple

Mac

Here’s The Beats By Dre “Executive” Headphone Review By Someone Who Actually Used Them

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In case you haven’t noticed, rapper Dr. Dre has his own line of headphones. They’re called “Beats By Dre” and until now, they were made in concert with the company Monster. Apparently that has changed now and Beats are their own thing now, and that’s good. I’m not a fan of Monster products, but that’s a story for another day.

I went on a bit of a tirade on Twitter about how Beats were replacing your old overpriced pieces of crap with new overpriced pieces of crap, so the company reached out to me and asked if I’d check them out and review them. I obliged.

The pair that the company sent me are called the “Executive” model, and I think it’s a marketing ploy to get the attention of people who travel a lot who might make a bagload of money every year. That’s so not me, so it’s weird that I’m reviewing them. However, I am obsessed with music, so perhaps my thoughts will shed some light on whether these $299.95 headphones are indeed a piece of crap – or are worth buying.

Before I start, here’s the official marketing description of these things:

Beats Executive™ headphones are designed to take you from boardroom to the tarmac and everywhere in between. These headphones deliver the legendary Beats sound now in a refined premium package that’s easier than ever to take on the road.

Ok, let’s get going.

How they look

Not going to lie, these things are gorgeous. That’s the whole Beats by Dre “thing” though, style over substance for the most part. Are most of the headphones made by the company pieces of crap for real? No, but they’re not much better than a brand like, say, Bose.

The Executive model is grey, has the Beats logo on the side and look pretty comfortable. That’s good, because they are comfortable. They’re honestly the most comfortable over-ear headphones I’ve ever put on. I can’t use the new Apple Ear Pad/Bud/Whatevers because they don’t fit into my ear properly. Oh well. They’re also really light, which I wouldn’t have guessed.

The cord is red, which is also something that is unique to Beats, and I wish it would have shipped with a more understated black or grey color. Having said that, it’s extremely good quality and it shows. Well done.

Anyone can tell you if something is pretty or not, so let’s get to how they perform.

How they perform

Forget about price, let’s just think about pure performance. I had our own Josh Constine put them on during a train ride, and I have to say that the noise cancellation did the job. However, the headphones seem to miss the extreme “highs” and “lows.” If you’re looking for a sound with deep, deep bass, don’t get the Executive model, you’ll be really disappointed.

Having said that, the sound is really crisp and there’s no crackling or interference from the noise cancellation at all. I haven’t used them on an actual plane yet, but I felt that the train test was close enough to share my thoughts.

I’ve used them with my iPhone, Nexus 7 and my laptop, and the sound is consistent over all devices. Clearly, the sounds coming out of my MacBook Pro are superior, but that’s only because I was not listening to heavily compressed or streaming music.

Things that are missing

There’s one thing that drives me nuts about these headphones, and it’s the fact that the on/off switch that powers them doesn’t automatically shut down when they’re folded up and not being used. The Executive headphones take two double-A batteries, and I’ve gone through four of them in the past four days because I have forgotten to turn them off.

For almost three hundred bucks, I expect better. Maybe all headphones are like this and I’m just absent-minded, but man does this make me want to toss these things out of that moving train.

Other than missing the highs and lows, I really wish that the headphones had some sort of microphone on them too. Since I’m an “executive”, I use the phone a lot. It’s a real pain in the ass to be listening to Spotify when a call comes in and forget that there’s no mic on my headphones. Duh.

UPDATE: I’m told that there’s a separate cable included with a mic. Great. But weird.

Good job, good effort

As promised, I shared my review and was completely honest. Would I buy these headphones with my own money? Probably not, because I’m not the target audience. If you really do fly a lot and you want to show off the fact that you’re someone high-up at a company, the Executive headphones by Dre are worth picking up. For the rest of us, $300 is a lot to throw down.

Remember, these headphones only come in silver…so you can’t even choose your style.

If you’re an audiophile, you could probably pick these things apart more than I ever could. Having said that, I’ve been consistently using them and enjoying how comfortable they are on my headpiece, even on top of my hats. Sounds stupid, but these things are important to me.

When I take them off, my ears aren’t sore, which I’ve experienced with expensive headphones from Bose in the past.

Buy or not to buy…that’s up to you. See you on the private jet, Execs.

(Our editor Eric Eldon wanted me to work in “Beats By Drew” somewhere into the story, but it didn’t fit. So there it is.)


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Drew Olanoff

October 26th

Gadgets

Michael Lynton becomes CEO of Sony America, Nicole Seligman picked for SCA president

ImagePlenty of moving and shaking going on after the bell today. Hot on the heels of news that RIM's CEO is making major internal changes, in flies word that Michael Lynton has been selected as the CEO of Sony Corp. America. He's coming over from Sony Pictures Entertainment, where he previously sat as the Chairman and CEO. Effective June 27th, Lynton will have a few new reports as well, and unsurprisingly, Sir Howard Stringer is more than encouraged by the move.

Stringer stated: "Lynton is an incredibly accomplished executive who has distinguished himself in at least three different fields -- entertainment, technology and publishing." In related news, Nicole Seligman has been appointed SCA President; we're told that Lynton will be overseeing Sony's entertainment businesses (including SME, Sony / ATV Music Publishing and SPE), while Seligman will have responsibility for Sony's U.S. headquarters operations. Hard to foresee what two relatively new names mean for the consumer side of Sony's business, but we'll be keeping a close eye on their first hundred days, for sure. The full release is after the break.

Continue reading Michael Lynton becomes CEO of Sony America, Nicole Seligman picked for SCA president

Michael Lynton becomes CEO of Sony America, Nicole Seligman picked for SCA president originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 29 Mar 2012 16:24:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Darren Murph

March 29th

Uncategorized

RIM CEO Thorsten Heins reportedly ‘clearing house,’ laying off numerous executives

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With BlackBerry World only weeks away and RIM's earnings report merely hours away, it looks as if newly-appointed CEO Thorsten Heins will be leading it with quite the bang. While Heins has done a truly exceptional job of laying low (really low) during his first few months in the corner office, he's evidently been hard at work rearranging chairs... mentally, at least. According to The Globe and Mail's Iain Marlow, a trusted source has informed him that the BlackBerry maker's head honcho has begun "clearing house," with senior vice presidents and VP-level executives being informed of the imminent changes today. We're tracking down more on the story right now and will update this post as details flow.

Update: The report is up in full, with an unnamed source explaining: "Lots of high level people within RIM were let go today. Quite a few. Big shake up." We're still awaiting official word, which is apt to be found buried deep within the eventual earnings release.

RIM CEO Thorsten Heins reportedly 'clearing house,' laying off numerous executives originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 29 Mar 2012 15:54:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |  sourceIain Marlow (Twitter), The Globe and Mail  | Email this | Comments

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Darren Murph

March 29th

Uncategorized

Analyst charged with insider trading and fraud after leaking Apple sales data

A research analyst and a former executive who revealed insider information about Apple’s sales have both been charged, reports Reuters. Analyst John Kinnucan on Friday was charged with two counts of securities fraud, two counts of conspiracy and one count of insider trading from a civil case filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Between 2008 and 2010, Kinnucan allegedly paid insiders with cash, trips and other incentives for inside information regarding Apple. Kinnnucan then sold the information to hedge funds for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Separately, former SanDisk executive Don Barnetson pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and securities fraud. “I conspired with a consultant to provide confidential information with respect to my employer at the time, SanDisk Corp,” Barnetson said. Barnetson could faces up to five years in prison but could get leniency for his “substantial cooperation.” Kinnucan could faces up to 20 years in prison on each of the securities fraud counts and one of the conspiracy counts, and up to five years on the other conspiracy count.

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Dan Graziano

February 21st

Apple

Acer sues former CEO for violating non-compete agreement

Acer has filed a lawsuit against its former chief executive officer Gianfranco Lanci for allegedly violating a non-compete agreement. Lanci left Acer last March after the company hit a rough patch and was recently named head of Lenovo’s operations in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. “We believe Mr. Lanci has clearly breached the terms of the non-compete agreement he entered into willingly . . . we believe we have a very robust case,” Acer said in a statement given to the Financial Times. The Financial Times notes that Acer has fallen from the second to the fourth largest computer maker in the world while Lenovo has seen recent success and has risen to the No.2 spot.

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Todd Haselton

February 8th

Uncategorized

Former Apple exec Bob Borchers talks Apple marketing, packaging, and his time at Apple

Update: Apple had these videos taken offline.  We will make an effort to see if they exist somewhere else. Help us out in the comments if you find them.

Former Apple marketing executive Bob Borchers, who was part of the original iPhone team and helped lead the Nike+iPod partnership and third-party iPod integration with car manufacturers, recently gave a talk at a school in California to discuss his experiences at Apple (part 2 below). In case you are unfamiliar, you might remember Borchers from several “guided tour” videos for iPhone and other Apple products a few years back. He has also been a source for many of the interesting stories coming from Adam Lashinsky’s new book “Inside Apple.”

At the starting of his talk to students, Borchers surveys the crowd to find out the ratio of Android users to iPhone users, leading him to joke: “Alright that’s good. I’ll keep my Apple stock.” As a former marketing executive, Borchers showed and talked about a few ads, but also discussed the AT&T partnership, as he noted, “We broke rules in terms of how we worked with folks like AT&T”:

“AT&T as a company… they buy the cellphones and then they sell them to you and I… we said, ‘no we don’t want to do that’. We want to be able to sell the iPhone. We want to be able to talk directly to the customer. That was a big, big change for the industry.” 

Other than telling some recent stories that have debuted in “Inside Apple,” Borchers also talked about Steve Jobs’ initial mission to create the iPhone, describing the late CEO as wanting to create “the first phone people would fall in love with.” He also discussed how important the multitouch display and having the full “Internet in your pocket” was to the original concept. Before wrapping up his speech, Borchers talked about how the iPhone was developed from his point of view on the product marketing/product management team and the importance of Apple packaging:

“Our job was really to establish what the iPhone was going to be, and to work with all the engineers and everybody else to create that product… when we decided we wanted to do touch technology, i would then go work with the design team [etc]… If you think of an orchestra… our job was to be the conductor.”

Borchers discussed Apple’s obsession with attention to detail and gives the example of iPhone packaging: “One of the things that Apple is absolutely passionate about… and we spend too much time on… but as consumers I think you recognize it as being really important… you spend time doing even the silly stuff… like making sure the packaging is perfect… so when you open up an Apple product… you’ll see that it’s beautifully designed… that’s the attention to detail Steve was famous for.”

As for the Gizmodo iPhone “nightmare”:

“It’s like losing your keys only a hundred times worse cause Steve Jobs is going to come running after you. It was a big deal… but it’s a human process… occasionally people make mistakes… the iPhone has been ok.”

These days Borchers is a partner at Opus Capital, investing in startups after the iPhone business grew so much that, “it wasn’t as much innovation as it was just kind of keeping things moving forward.” He wanted to “go back to small again.” You can check out part two of the Borchers talk below.



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Jordan Kahn

February 3rd

Apple

HP appoints Bill Veghte as chief strategy officer, will lead ‘cloud and webOS open source initiatives’

Bill Veghte was already having his checks cut by HP (after cutting ties with Microsoft), but now he'll be filling a slightly different corner office. The company today announced that he has been appointed chief strategy officer, but somehow, he'll also have enough time to hold onto his current role as executive vice president of HP Software. We're told that he'll be working with HP's senior business and technology brass in order to innovate in ways that perhaps it hasn't lately, with newly-appointed CEO Meg Whitman saying the following: "Every 10 to 15 years, fundamental shifts occur in the IT industry that redefine how technology is delivered. From mainframes to client/server to the internet, companies that identified the opportunity first and developed the right strategy came out on top. As we move forward, HP intends to stay on top, and I believe Bill has the knowledge and vision to keep us there." Strangely, the release (embedded in full after the break) mentions that Bill will be leading HP's "cloud and webOS open source initiatives," but it fails to elaborate on what exactly those "initiatives" may be.

Continue reading HP appoints Bill Veghte as chief strategy officer, will lead 'cloud and webOS open source initiatives'

HP appoints Bill Veghte as chief strategy officer, will lead 'cloud and webOS open source initiatives' originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 17 Jan 2012 16:48:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Darren Murph

January 17th

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