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Apple stockholders keep CEO succession plan private
Thursday 24 February 2011, 10:38PM
 Apple stockholders on Wednesday voted down a proposal that would have compelled the notoriously secretive technology star to reveal how it would handle the departure of chief executive Steve Jobs. Apple's board had recommended the proposal to be rejected at the annual meeting of shareholders at the company's headquarters in Cupertino, California, on the grounds it would give rivals inside information. The meeting was presided over by Apple chief operating officer Timothy Cook, who has been at the company's helm since January 17 when Jobs went on an indefinite leave of absence for medical reasons. Jobs, who turns 56 years old on Thursday, has reportedly been taking meetings at home, keeping in contact by phone and even visiting Apple's campus to remain involved with the company. Last month Jobs stepped aside, his third medical leave since 2004, but did not say how long he expected to be away or provide any details about his latest health issues. He underwent an operation for pancreatic cancer in 2004 and received a liver transplant in early 2009. He appeared gaunt but relatively healthy at recent Apple public events. Apple's fortunes have been uniquely linked to Jobs, who returned to the then flagging company in 1997 after a 12-year absence and introduced innovative and wildly successful products like the iPod, iPhone and iPad. Some analysts and investors have criticized Apple for not clearly outlining how it would replace Jobs if the need arises. A proposal by a pension fund holding Apple stock made it to the ballot and, if passed, would have required require Apple to lay bare its CEO succession plan. The shareholder meeting came on the same day that Apple sent out invitations to a March 2 press event in San Francisco at which the company is expected to unveil the second-generation iPad. Apple finished last year with a record quarterly net profit of $6 billion on an unprecedented $26.74 billion in revenue.
New 200-room hotel for Bang Tao
Thursday 24 February 2011, 07:03AM
Singapore-based Castlewood Hotels & Resorts has announced the launch of a new 200-key hotel project near Bang Tao Beach. Castlewood Group’s in-house hospitality brand, 8over8, will manage the new hotel, which will consist of 200 luxury suites and a private rooftop penthouse. Cornerstone Management has been retained to ensure timely delivery of the hotel. Two purchase options are available to investors; the first gives buyers a guaranteed return of five per cent for the first three years, then three percent for a further seven years. The second offers a return of five per cent for the first three years, then full revenue from the hotel’s rights of use policy for the following seven years. Chris Comer, Castlewood Group’s Managing Director for Southeast Asia, commented, “Our team here in Singapore are equipped with a wealth of experience in all types of real estate investment. We looked at various hotel investment models globally and researched as many success stories as we did failures. “It was apparent that there were real fundamental issues which had not been addressed when developing a lot of these hotels, especially those that were not so successful. One factor was the selection of the right location.  “This is fuelled by the three key factors: existing realistic occupancy rates, existing good average daily room rates and a solid reason for massive immediate growth in demand for the area with a feasible growth forecast, too. For us the area close to Laguna Phuket ticked all of those boxes.” Completion of the new hotel at Bang Tao Beach in Phuket is scheduled for 2013. Castlewood also recently announced plans to expand their hotel brand to Koh Samui.