CalSTRS Statement Regarding Shareholder Letter to Apple Inc.
WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. – CalSTRS Director of Corporate Governance Anne Sheehan made the following statement regarding the recent letter issued to Apple Inc. on January 6, 2018:
“As active and long-term shareholders of Apple Inc., CalSTRS and Jana Partners LLC sent the corporation a letter asking them to address the growing need to offer parents more choices and tools to help ensure that young consumers are using their products in an optimal, supportive manner. We believe that by doing so, Apple will enhance long-term value for all shareholders, by creating more choices and options for their customers today and helping to protect the next generation of leaders, innovators, and customers tomorrow.
“We specifically ask that Apple form a committee of experts and specialists to research and study this issue and monitor ongoing developments in technology. Additionally, we encourage Apple to offer parents more tools by enhancing mobile device software to enable age-appropriate setup options including limiting screen time, setting up parental monitoring, etc. This also includes parental education on the available research and options available to help them make more informed decisions on their child’s device usage. We want to ensure stakeholders and experts have a seat at the table as Apple develops these new tools and options moving forward.
“We hold Apple in very high regard given their prominence as a leading innovator in the technology industry and the work they are doing to develop next generation solutions. Apple has an impressive history of being attentive to creating advancements that will appeal to their expanding customer base, as well as taking responsible actions that are supportive of long-term value creation and risk reduction for their shareholders.
“CalSTRS has a long-standing, collaborative relationship with Apple, and we look forward to, and offer support, for their ongoing proactive technological developments which align with our investment priorities to reduce risk and increase the profitability of our portfolio.
“This is an opportunity for Apple to play a defining role in signaling to the industry that paying special attention to the needs of the next generation of consumers is both good for business and the right thing to do.”
Apple Inc. is the largest holding in CalSTRS’ domestic equities portfolio worth close to $1.9 billion (as of December 31, 2017).
While CalSTRS is not invested in any Jana Partners LLC funds, the two organizations have a long-term relationship collaborating on engagements focused on increasing shareholder value.
The California State Teachers’ Retirement System, with a portfolio valued at $221.7 billion as of November 30, 2017, is the largest educator-only pension fund in the world. CalSTRS serves California’s more than 933,000 public school educators and their families from the state’s 1,700 school districts, county offices of education and community college districts. A hybrid retirement system, CalSTRS administers a combined traditional defined benefit, cash balance and voluntary defined contribution plan. CalSTRS also provides disability and survivor benefits. CalSTRS members retire on average after more than 25 years of service, with a median retirement age of 62.9, and a monthly pension of approximately $4,475, which is not eligible for Social Security participation. For more data, download the CalSTRS Fast Facts 2017 brochure.