Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds and Calvert Asset Management Co. successfully resolved their joint shareholder proposal at Netflix Inc., seeking to make gender and race factors in considering candidates to the company's board of directors.
Netflix appointed Ann Mather to its board, effective July 1. Ms. Mather is the only female director on the seven-member Netflix board. She was most recently executive vice president and chief financial officer of Pixar Animation Studios from 1999 to 2004, according to a Netflix statement.
“In this economic climate, boards should take every reasonable step to preserve and enhance long-term financial performance,” Denise L. Nappier, Connecticut state treasurer and sole trustee of the $23 billion Hartford-based retirement funds, said in a joint statement issued with Calvert on July 20. “Given the compelling business case for board diversity, the addition of a woman to Netflix's board of directors is an important and strategically sound step in the right direction.”
The joint resolution asked Netflix to commit to a policy of board inclusiveness and include women and minority candidates in considering nominees to the board.
Stu Dalheim, Bethesda, Md.-based Calvert director of shareholder advocacy, said in an interview that the two institutions withdrew the proposal in March after “the company agreed to change its nominating committee charter language, an important step to institutionalize board diversity.”
Steven Swasey, Netflix vice president-communications, declined to draw a connection between the proposal and the appointment of Ms. Mather. — BARRY B. BURR