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Global News North America Facebook nominates Peggy Alford for board election Facebook has nominated PayPal executive Peggy Alford (right) to join its board of directors, making her the first Black woman and the second Black person to join the company’s nine-member board. Alford was appointed PayPal senior vice president in March. She previously served as CFO and head of operations for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a philanthropic organisation by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Dr Priscilla Chan. Alford said: “What excites me about the opportunity to join Facebook’s board is the company’s drive and desire to face hard issues head-on while continuing to improve on the amazing connection experiences they have built over the years.” “I look forward to working with Mark and the other directors as the company builds new and inspiring ways to help people connect and build community.” Alford’s impending board arrival coincides with long-time directors Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and Erskine Bowles leaving their posts.

Uber urged to shake up boardroom An investor group called for Uber to strengthen its board of directors ahead of its initial public offering arguing that board member John Thain put shareholders at risk. CtW Investment Group, an adviser to pension funds, outlined concerns about Thain — the former Merrill Lynch chief executive — in a letter to Uber chairman Ronald Sugar. Thain chairs Uber’s audit committee, putting him in charge of oversight of the company’s financial reporting, legal compliance and corporate governance.

Dieter Waizenegger, executive director at CtW, wrote: “We strongly believe that Thain’s close relationship with Uber CFO Nelson Chai could impede Thain’s ability as audit committee chair to exercise independent judgement over the accuracy, credibility and integrity of the company’s financial statements.” “We urge the company to restructure its board to reflect directors that are independent, objective and will represent the interests of all the company’s shareholders.”

Shareholders frustrated with Boeing board Boeing CEO and chairman Dennis a has survived a shareholder motion to split his roles and has pledged to lead the company through crisis following two fatal accidents involving its 737 Max aircraft. The proposal to separate the CEO and board chairman roles did not pass at the aerospace manufacturer’s annual shareholder meeting in April. Investors controlling about a third of Boeing shares voted in favour of the proposal, which was also backed by America’s top shareholder advisory firms. The company has come under fire in recent months following two deadly crashes involving the 737 Max. In October, a Lion Air flight crashed and killed all 189 people on board and, in March, an Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed and killed all 157 people on board.

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Kraft Heinz to restate earnings Kraft Heinz will restate more than two years of financial results after some of its employees engaged in misconduct, the company has announced. The US food giant said it will restate its financial statements for 2016 and 2017 by $181million, after a review into its procurement and accounting procedures discovered employee misconduct. Kraft Heinz disclosed in February that the Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating its accounting and it had received a subpoena from the regulator related to its accounting policies, procedures and internal controls. Kraft Heinz’s chief executive Bernardo Hees said in April that he was leaving the company and would be replaced by Miguel Patricio, a marketing executive from the brewer AB InBev.

Shareholders get vocal at Wells Fargo

C. Allen Parker, the interim chairman of Wells Fargo, was repeatedly interrupted during the bank’s annual meeting in April by activists who called executives ‘frauds and criminals’. Shareholders at the meeting also criticised Wells Fargo over the bank’s sales practice scandals and financing oil and gas companies. However, Wells Fargo shareholders voted to elect all of the company-nominated directors during the rowdy meeting, despite a dozen attendees being kicked out for heckling executives and board members, according to Reuters. Scandals at the fourth-largest US lender — including opening millions of unauthorised accounts in customers’ names — have resulted in billions of fines and penalties and claimed two CEOs.

Profile for Ethical Boardroom

Ethical Boardroom Spring 2019