Amazon is hosting its annual shareholders meeting at the Seattle Repertory Theatre on Wednesday at 9 am PT (12 noon ET). Shareholders will vote on routine matters as well as four shareholder proposals dealing with issues from proxy access to disclosure about human rights risks.
Amazon has not webcast its annual meeting since 2011. Spokesperson Erik Fairleigh said it would not be webcasting Wednesday’s meeting, offering the following explanation: “We have decided to keep with the same format and approach we’ve used in the past.”
Amazon’s board recommends shareholders reelect the ten directors who are up for reelection: Jeffrey P. Bezos, Tom A. Alberg, John Seely Brown, William B. Gordon, Jamie S. Gorelick, Judith A. McGrath, Alain Monie, Jonathan J. Rubinstein, Thomas O. Ryder, and Patricia Q. Stonesifer.
The board also recommends shareholders vote to ratify the appointment of Ernst & Young LLP as the company’s independent auditors for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2015.
The Amazon board recommends shareholders vote against the four shareholder proposals.
The first shareholder resolution (proposal 3) would allow shareholders to make board nominations under certain circumstances. The proposal is similar to one voted on by eBay shareholders in May – and in eBay’s case, shareholders went against the board’s recommendations by passing the proposal. More on what that means in this Wall Street Journal article.
In the second matter, shareholders want Amazon to provide a semiannual report that discloses information about the company’s political contributions, including reporting the identity of all recipients, as well as the amount paid to each.
Another proposal requests Amazon issue a sustainability report describing its environmental, social and, governance performance and goals, including greenhouse gas reduction goals. “The report should be available on the company website by May 2016, prepared at reasonable cost, omitting proprietary information.”
And shareholders urged Amazon to publish a report on its process for comprehensively identifying and analyzing potential and actual human rights risks of Amazon’s entire operations and supply chain (a “human rights risk assessment”).