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2019 AAPL shareholders meeting: New iPad Pro features, philanthropy controversy, Apple health push

Apple held its annual shareholders meeting today at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park. While Tim Cook expressed excitement as he walked on stage, the meeting quickly saw some controversial topics brought up by a couple of shareholders. The meeting also included a vote on whether Apple’s board should be required to disclose ideological information about nominees. And we also got tease about a new iPad Pro functionality coming at some point from Craig Federighi.

CNET’s Ian Sherr noted that Tim Cook walked out on stage with the energy of a product launch: “I love this meeting because I get to see some of my old friends here that I only see maybe once a year.”

Apple’s general counsel, Kate Adams, then took over the business portion of the meeting. Some debate started over the idea of Apple needing “more conservatives on the board.”

Another shareholder said they didn’t approve of Apple donating $1 million to the Southern Poverty Law Center whose mission is “fighting hate, teaching tolerance, and seeking justice.”

Someone else made another controversial statement by alleging that Apple’s diversity policy is “sexist and racist.”

As things turned more positive and Apple focused, we got a tease from Craig Federighi about transferring video on the iPad Pro over USB-C.

But rather than talking about video output to external devices, it sounds like the question was asking about transferring video files over the iPad Pro’s USB-C port.

As for the vote to require Apple’s board to release ideological information on nominees, it was voted down by the vast majority of shareholders.

Cook noted how the company will continue “pulling the string between wellness and health.” Previously, Apple’s CEO said that the company’s “greatest contribution to mankind” will be health-focused.

Cook also used the meeting to reiterate Apple’s values of privacy, capitalism, diversity, immigration, and the environment.

With a comical note about Apple and privacy, Sean Montgomery shared how luxurious and “private” the stalls in the men’s bathroom are at the Steve Jobs Theater.

Other highlights from the meeting include the board being reelected, Apple acquiring 18 companies last year, 50% of new Apple hires were from underrepresented groups, and research and development spending grew to over $14 billion.

Top image via Sean Montgomery

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Avatar for Michael Potuck Michael Potuck

Michael is an editor for 9to5Mac. Since joining in 2016 he has written more than 3,000 articles including breaking news, reviews, and detailed comparisons and tutorials.