These sure are tough times for Apple, and it’s only looking to get worse. First it was the less than expected performance of the iPad 4 and iPhone 5 in Q4, and now it’s a lawsuit filed by a rebellious investor just before it held its annual shareholder conference. And to make matters worse, the CEO Tim Cook has decided to criticize the lawsuit by calling it a “silly slideshow”. Wonder how the investor’s going to take that.
Cook stated the above during an interview at a Goldman Sachs technology conference yesterday. He also shared his opinion on other issues related to Apple, including whether Apple’s power to innovate is going down, the ongoing expansion of its stores, as well as the shareholder dispute.
However, Cook stayed cool throughout the uncomfortable questions he was subjected to and didn’t reveal any unease caused due to the dip in Apple’s stock prices or increasing dissatisfaction among its shareholders. What did come through, however, was Cook’s passion for Apple, especially since he is known more for his subdued and modest nature.
During the interview, Cook talked about how innovation is deeply embedded within the company’s culture, and continues to drive its employees to make the best products in the world. In Cook’s words, “It’s as strong as ever. It’s in the values and DNA of the company. I feel fantastic about it. There’s not a better place for innovation”.
However, when asked about the issue pertaining to David Einhorn and how he made a public request for Apple to issue a special class of stock to its shareholders, Cook reacted strongly. Einhorn and some more shareholders want Apple to use the $120 billion cash it has shown in its balance sheet, in addition to issuing the special class of stock. He has also filed a lawsuit to block Apple’s proposition of requiring a shareholder vote before issuing such a stock.
Cook stated that Apple’s pro-shareholder attitude should be evident to the investors and the company doesn’t plan to launch a campaign to get this proposition passed. Apple intends to file a response to the lawsuit by today and the case will be heard in a New York District Court next week.