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Governance

Shareholders reject proposals for Alphabet to move to one vote per share, report on content enforcement

Proposals on reporting on gender pay practices, lobbying and further diversity disclosure were also defeated

Shareholder proposals calling for Alphabet Inc. to change its voting structure to one share/one vote and prepare reports on the company's content-management enforcement, gender pay practices and lobbying activities were defeated at the company's annual meeting, despite support from a number of large pension funds, according to a webcast of Wednesday's annual meeting.

Pension funds that supported all four proposals included the $352.8 billion California Public Employees' Retirement System, Sacramento; C$356.1 billion ($274.4 billion) Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Toronto; $224.8 billion California State Teachers' Retirement System, West Sacramento; $204.9 billion Florida State Board of Administration, Tallahassee; and the $151.4 billion Texas Teacher Retirement System, Austin.

CalPERS and Texas Teachers also supported shareholder proposals calling on Alphabet to connect its executive pay to diversity goals. CalPERS and CalSTRS supported a proposal requesting Alphabet to disclose directors' skills, gender and ethnicity. The two proposals also failed to receive a majority of shareholder votes.

Thomas P. DiNapoli, sole trustee of the $206.9 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund, Albany, co-filed the content-management proposal, which asked Alphabet to report on how it enforces its terms of service to prevent election interference, fake news and hate speech from being posted to its platform. The proposal was supported by 13% of total votes.

Arjuna Capital, a filer on the content proposal, also filed the gender pay proposal. The firm chose not to withdraw its proposal in March after Alphabet reported that there was no "statistically significant" pay gap for 89% of its employees worldwide. Arjuna said in a news release at the time that Alphabet's analysis was incomplete and that shareholders deserved more understanding of the situation. The proposal was supported by 16% of total votes.

The one share/one vote proposal was supported by 29% of total votes and the lobbying proposal, 9%.

Also at the meeting, Alphabet Chairman John Hennessy said the company has and will continue to consider diverse candidates for every director opening. Eileen Naughton, Google's chief of human resources, said the company aims to increase black, Latino and female workers at the company to more representative levels by 2020.

An Alphabet spokeswoman declined to comment on the meeting.

Bloomberg contributed to this story.