“…Ms Mayer’s appointment to the chief executive role at Yahoo has made her a new lightning rod for criticism of Walmart.” – Financial Times
Before the shareholder meeting, WMTS reviewed how some large public pension funds and proxy advisors were voting their shares for the different Board of Director candidates. Well, the results are in, and Directors Christopher Williams, Mike Duke and Rob Walton, yet again tallied high “no” votes. In an effort to shed some light on why large institutional investors voted against various director candidates, WMTS has looked into the reasoning of the two large public pension funds—Wisconsin (SWIB) and California (CalPERS). Both are among the largest public pension funds in the world with CalPERS ranking 6th and SWIB in 30th place, both with assets in the billions.
After the Walmart annual meeting in June, three of the company’s directors will be stepping down from their positions. The exit of Jim Breyer, Michele Burns, and Arne Sorenson will leave Walmart’s Board of Directors will be even weaker and more compromised than it already was.
Last May, in the days leading up to Walmart’s annual meeting/extravaganza, the New York Times observed that Walmart lead independent director Jim Breyer, a partner at venture capital firm Accel Partners, was severely overextended, raising concerns about his commitment and ability to meet his directorship responsibilities. On top of his work at Accel, he was a director at five public companies, four of which were experiencing major scandals or troubles. Last spring, proxy advisory firm Pension & Investment Research Consultants even recommended that Walmart shareholders vote against re-electing him, dryly stating: “There are concerns over his aggregate time commitments.”
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer reported on the firm’s financial results for the quarter last week – and advertising revenues at the struggling company are down.
WALMART IN 2012:
This year, thousands of activists stood up to the Walmart 1% across the country. It was a busy year for the one percent—and for the rest of us. There was the news of alleged bribery and corruption in Mexico, Walmart leaving ALEC under pressure from the public (here’s hoping the Walton Family Foundation follows their lead next year), forced labor at Walmart suppliers, warehouse worker strikes, and a Black Friday to remember when Walmart associates went on strike over the company’s retaliation and attempts to silence those who spoke out for improvements on the job.