Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

What CEO succession plan?

February 6, 2011: 1:37 PM ET

Apple is not alone. According to a recent survey, only 35% of companies have one.

Source: Korn/Ferry

At Apple's (AAPL) annual meeting on Feb. 23, shareholders will vote on a proposal that asks the company to produce a written CEO succession plan -- a motion that was endorsed Friday by Institutional Shareholder Services, an influential proxy service firm.

All companies should have such a plan in place, ISS said in remarks that were widely reported in the business press.

What ISS should have added is that very few companies do.

According to a December survey of more than 1,300 companies in 60 countries by Korn/Ferry, a leading executive search firm, 98% of respondents agreed that CEO succession planning was an important piece of corporate governance, but only 35% had such a plan in place.

Steve Jobs has often said that he has a plan -- which makes sense given his importance to the company and the state of his health -- but that he has no intention of making it public.

It's not likely that he will have to. Shareholder proposals almost never muster enough votes to pass.


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Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for

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