2 Of Apple Shareholders Focus On Creating Social Change

Published: Thursday, January 11, 2018 - 3:15pm
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Two of Apple’s shareholders are urging the company to research the impact of its technology on children.

Together, Jana Partners and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System own around $2 billion of Apple stock, and they recently wrote an open letter to Apple asking the company to be a pioneer in the tech industry and offer parents more choices and tools when it comes to how their children are using Apple products.

For their part, Apple responded in a statement: “We are committed to meeting and exceeding our customers’ expectations, especially when it comes to protecting kids.”

This push is an example of what’s called shareholder activism, when those who hold a financial interest in a publicly traded corporation use their influence to try to affect change.

So, just how influential can shareholders activists like these be?

So, we’ve seen activist shareholders make a real impact before. Proctor and Gamble, PayPal and Yahoo are all examples of major companies that have been pressured by activist investors to make big changes, like cutting costs and replacing board members.

Now, these two Apple shareholders are shedding a light on their concerns regarding the effect of things like smartphones on kids.

So, to find out more about the influence of shareholders like these,  we reached out to Nickolay Gantchev, who studies corporate governance and shareholder activism at Southern Methodist University. He says, this case is really unique. Activists like these don’t usually focus on creating social change. Normally, it’s about increasing shareholder value.

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