FORTUNE -- Of the roomful of investors and journalists who heard Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook lose his southern cool during the Q&A portion of the company's annual stockholders meeting Friday, The Mac Observer's Brian Chaffin tells it best:
[A] self-described conservative think tank was pushing a shareholder proposal that would have required Apple to disclose the costs of its sustainability programs and to be more transparent about its participation in "certain trade associations and business organizations promoting the amorphous concept of environmental sustainability"...
During the question and answer session, however, the NCPPR representative asked Mr. Cook two questions, both of which were in line with the principles espoused in the group's proposal.
The first question challenged an assertion from Mr. Cook that Apple's sustainability programs and goals—Apple plans on having 100 percent of its power come from green sources—are good for the bottom line. The representative asked Mr. Cook if that was the case only because of government subsidies on green energy.
Mr. Cook didn't directly answer that question, but instead focused on the second question: the NCPPR representative asked Mr. Cook to commit right then and there to doing only those things that were profitable.
What ensued was the only time I can recall seeing Tim Cook angry, and he categorically rejected the worldview behind the NCPPR's advocacy. He said that there are many things Apple does because they are right and just, and that a return on investment (ROI) was not the primary consideration on such issues.
"When we work on making our devices accessible by the blind," he said, "I don't consider the bloody ROI." He said that the same thing about environmental issues, worker safety, and other areas where Apple is a leader.
As evidenced by the use of "bloody" in his response—the closest thing to public profanity I've ever seen from Mr. Cook–it was clear that he was quite angry. His body language changed, his face contracted, and he spoke in rapid fire sentences compared to the usual metered and controlled way he speaks.
He didn't stop there, however, as he looked directly at the NCPPR representative and said, "If you want me to do things only for ROI reasons, you should get out of this stock."
The National Center for Public Policy Research posted its own account of the exchange under the headline: Tim Cook to Apple investors: Drop Dead. It included remarks from general counsel Justin Danhof, the man who confronted Cook.
"Although the National Center's proposal did not receive the required votes to pass, millions of Apple shareholders now know that the company is involved with organizations that don't appear to have the best interest of Apple's investors in mind," said Danhof. "Too often investors look at short-term returns and are unaware of corporate policy decisions that may affect long-term financial prospects. After today's meeting, investors can be certain that Apple is wasting untold amounts of shareholder money to combat so-called climate change. The only remaining question is: how much?"
Danhof directs the NCPPR's Free Enterprise Project, which describes its mission as "expos[ing] efforts by left-wing interest groups to divert businesses away from best practices and into left-wing advocacy."
CEO Tim Cook reiterated his previous position: We're looking at it carefully
As expected, the issue of what Apple (AAPL) plans to do with its roughly $100 billion in cash came up at the company's annual shareholder meeting Thursday.
It was the first question from the floor, and CEO Tim Cook had an opportunity to make an announcement, if he were so inclined.
He was not.
According to reports from inside the meeting, he MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Feb 23, 2012 1:58 PM ET
By Yi-Wyn Yen
Former Viacom CEO Frank Biondi and former Nextel CEO John Chappel will join Carl Icahn as the newest additions to Yahoo's board.
All eyes are on Icahn and his gang. The three amigos will need to start making changes to placate shareholders soon because if they don't, it's likely that nobody on the board will. The three were part of Icahn's original proxy slate that ran under a campaign MOREyiwyn - Aug 14, 2008 7:52 PM ET
By Yi-Wyn Yen
Yahoo (YHOO) on Tuesday disclosed that CEO Jerry Yang and other directors were re-elected last week to its board with far fewer votes than previously thought.
On Tuesday, Yahoo said it learned that Broadridge Financial Services, a proxy accounting firm that handles submitting votes for major shareholders, forgot to include millions of votes in its tally. Five of Yahoo's nine incumbents received a much lower margin of approval after MOREyiwyn - Aug 5, 2008 9:04 PM ET
By Yi-Wyn Yen
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Yahoo's shareholder meeting on Friday was pretty dull, but that didn't stop things from getting ugly for the troubled Internet portal as both Time Warner and Microsoft signaled their dissatisfaction with the company.
Time Warner (TWX) (Fortune's parent company) said that ex-AOL chief executive Jonathan Miller cannot join Yahoo's board because of a non-compete agreement, although Yahoo (YHOO) announced the nomination last week. Meanwhile, Microsoft MOREyiwyn - Aug 1, 2008 7:40 PM ET
By Yi-Wyn Yen
SAN JOSE, Calif. –Carl Icahn made the right choice not to fly out west to attend the Yahoo shareholder meeting Friday.
The billionaire activist who is the newest Yahoo director wasn't the only one that didn't show up to the gathering. Judging by the number of shareholders who did attend, interest in the annual meeting was fairly low. But there were still some fireworks from shareholders who remain disgruntled MOREyiwyn - Aug 1, 2008 5:25 PM ET
By Yi-Wyn Yen
Yahoo is preparing for a hot and heated summer. In anticipation of a proxy fight with billionaire activist Carl Icahn, the company has delayed its July 3 annual shareholder meeting by a few weeks.
Yahoo (YHOO), in a regulatory filing Thursday, urged its shareholders to vote against the ten-member alternate slate that Icahn proposed last week and to re-elect Yahoo's current directors. "Our board of directors unanimously recommends a vote for the election of MOREyiwyn - May 22, 2008 7:18 PM ET
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