Apple is not alone. According to a recent survey, only 35% of companies have one.
At Apple’s (AAPL) annual meeting on Feb. 23, shareholders will vote on a proposal that asks the company to produce a written CEO succession plan — a motion that was endorsed Friday by Institutional Shareholder Services, an influential proxy service firm.
All companies should have such a plan in place, ISS said in remarks that were widely reported in the business press.
What ISS should have added is that very few companies do.
According to a December survey of more than 1,300 companies in 60 countries by Korn/Ferry, a leading executive search firm, 98% of respondents agreed that CEO succession planning was an important piece of corporate governance, but only 35% had such a plan in place.
Steve Jobs has often said that he has a plan — which makes sense given his importance to the company and the state of his health — but that he has no intention of making it public.
It’s not likely that he will have to. Shareholder proposals almost never muster enough votes to pass.
Also on Fortune.com:
- Thinking the unthinkable: Apple without Steve Jobs
- Apple’s 10 biggest problems
- After Steve Jobs: Handicapping Apple’s back bench
[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]