Despite opposition form a group of investors, Disney shareholders voted to re-elect Steve Jobs to the company’s board of directors. A preliminary tally found that 74% of voting investors were in favor of keeping Disney’s entire 12-person board, including Jobs.
The advisory group Glass Lewis & Co. recommended investors withhold support for Jobs, citing his absence from meetings. Institutional Shareholder Services, Inc., stopping short of urging rejection, said Jobs’s attendance and “recent leave of absence from his primary employer, raises questions about his ability to fulfill his responsibilities as a director.”
Prior to this week’s vote, the AFL-CIO labor union, which owns 3.8 million Disney shares, also expressed opposition to re-electing Jobs on account of the Apple CEOs health issues which forced him to take another medical leave of absence from Apple this past January. And even assuming Jobs is 100% healthy, the labor union brought up Jobs poor attendance record at company board meetings in 3 of the past 4 years.
Still, the clout and expertise Jobs brings to the table simply can’t easily be replaced. In late 2009, for example, we reported that Disney relied on the retail experience and lessons learned from Apple’s own retail initiative to help them revamp its line of retail stores.
Jobs currently owns 7.3% of Disney and is the company’s largest shareholder as a result of Disney’s 2006 acquisition of Pixar.