Netflix Investors to Vote Today on Splitting CEO, Chairman Roles

Jun 9, 2014  •  Post A Comment

Netflix investors will vote today at the company’s annual meeting on a proposal by two public pension funds to separate the roles of chairman and CEO, which are both now held by the company’s co-founder, Reed Hastings, The New York Times reports.

The request may be the most notable corporate governance item on the meeting’s agenda, which also includes a proposal to re-elect board members every year, instead of every three years, the story says.

Calpers, the California public pension fund, and Scott Stringer, the comptroller of New York City who also oversees the city’s pension funds, are backing the proposal to split the roles.

“The idea, first proposed by Mr. Stringer, has proved popular among shareholders. More than 73 percent of Netflix shares were voted in favor of last year’s iteration, the highest-ever approval level for an independent chairman proposal,” the story reports. But the vote didn’t lead to a policy change at Netflix.

This year, Calpers and Stringer are expected to vote their shares against the three directors up for election, which includes Hastings.

“Separating the two roles has become a popular corporate governance issue, with companies including JPMorgan Chase and the retailer Abercrombie & Fitch facing pressure to do so in recent years. Dividing the two, proponents say, increases the independence of the board and reduces the influence of management,” the story reports.

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