Apple annual meeting proves entertaining

February 26, 2009

It is certainly not your average annual meeting that sees shareholders burst into a spontaneous round of “Happy Birthday” for an absent CEO.

That “could only happen at an Apple shareholder meeting, you’re not going to get that anywhere else, that’s why these meetings are so fun,” said Matthew Rafat, a lawyer and shareholder. Still, he acknowledged, “this year it was less lively with the absence of Steve Jobs.”

It was up to COO Tim Cook to rouse the faithful. While much of the attention at the annual meeting Wednesday was focused on Jobs – who is on medical leave – Cook found plenty of time to tout the company’s products. And although consumer electronics companies around the world have been struggling with a paralyzing economic slowdown, Cook sounded anything but pessimistic.

“We’re very confident in the strategy we have, we’re very confident in our product pipeline and the future of the company.”

He ticked off the Apple’s now familiar successes – Mac PCs, the iPod – along with its more recent ones such as the 3G iPhone and the App store, which he called the “envy of the industry.”

He also noted that iTunes has become the top music reseller in the U.S., besting a certain retailing behemoth. “Can you believe that Apple sold more of something than Wal-Mart?”

(File picture of Steve Jobs: Reuters)

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[...] Still, one little aside meant that the assembled gang couldn’t entirely ignore the fact that their great leader wasn’t around: to mark the fact that Jobs turned 54 on Tuesday, one investor by leading in an impromptu rendition of Happy Birthday. [...]

[...] the fact that their great leader wasn't around: to mark the fact that Jobs turned 54 on Tuesday, one investor by leading in an impromptu rendition of Happy Birthday. [...]