Governance in Brief – December 02, 2021

Posted on December 2, 2021

 

December 02, 2021 | Editor: Martin Wennerström 

 

Activision Blizzard CEO considers departure

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has reportedly signaled his potential resignation in case the company’s sexual harassment and cultural issues are not resolved with sufficient haste. Recently, around 1,330 employees petitioned Kotick to resign following media allegations that he had ignored and failed to disclose sexual harassment and gender discrimination complaints from female employees. Additionally, a group of shareholders has called for the CEO’s resignation, the retirement of the Chairman and the Lead Independent Director, and the nomination of a non-executive Activision Blizzard employee to the board. In response, the company announced that it had formed a fully independent “Workplace Responsibility Committee” tasked with overseeing the company’s progress on workplace culture improvement, adding that it “is working” on adding a “new, diverse” director. The controversy around Activision Blizzard emerged in July 2021, when the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing announced that a two-year investigation had revealed sexual harassment and discrimination practices at the company. 

Shareholder Letter | Activision Blizzard | CBS | EUROGAMER | gamesindustry 

 

Mizuho leadership resigns following regulatory sanctions

Japan’s Mizuho Financial Group announced that its CEO, Chairman and three other top executives will step down. The announcement comes after a series of technical system failures prompted Japanese regulators to issue the company with “business improvement” and “corrective action” orders. Group CEO Tatsufumi Sakai and Chairman Yasuhiro Sato will resign as of April 2022. Mizuho has not yet appointed a new CEO and plans to leave the chairmanship vacant. So far this year, Mizuho has been hit by eight system glitches which affected automated teller machine operations and foreign currency remittances.

Mizuho (1) | Mizuho (2)YahooNikkei

 

Supermax appoints founder as Executive Chair

Malaysian rubber glove maker Supermax Corp announced that its founder and largest shareholder, Datuk Seri Stanley Thai Kim Sim, will take over as Executive Chairman as of December 8. He will replace Albert Saychuan Cheok, who will stay on as an independent board member. Thai’s appointment comes approximately one year after he was acquitted on charges of insider trading at a former associate company, for which he had been initially sentenced to five years in prison. The leadership change occurs against the backdrop of a U.S. import ban on Supermax products, prompted by suspicions of forced labour in the company’s operations.

Focus | SparrowThe EdgeU.S. CBP

 

FCA slams companies for poor diversity and succession reporting 

The UK Financial Reporting Council (“FCA”) has concluded, based on a study of a random sample of 100 FTSE 350 and small cap companies, that UK premium listed companies remain weak in their reporting on board appointments, succession planning and diversity. The review noted that, while there have been improvements in reporting on environmental and social issues, there is still “minimal information” on how diversity and inclusion policies and targets are linked to the companies’ strategies. The FCA found that there is “room for improvement” in firms’ reporting on the skills/knowledge assessment and diversity target setting undertaken by the nomination committee.

FRC | City AM | Prinsent Masons | UK Today  

Recent Content

governance in brief

Governance in Brief – January 20, 2022

Toshiba investor requests shareholder vote on separation plan Singapore-based 3D Investment Partners (“3D”), Toshiba’s second-largest investor, has requested that the firm hold an EGM for shareholders to vote on its three-way separation plan originally announced in November 2021. 3D intends to vote against the proposal, but nevertheless wishes for this legally required vote to take place before additional plan- related expenses are incurred.

governance in brief

Governance in Brief – January 13, 2022

Alphabet increases executive remuneration Alphabet is to raise the base salaries of four of its top executives, soon after informing employees that there would not be a company-wide salary adjustment to match rising inflation. Four top executives, CFO Ruth Porat, SVP Prabhakar Raghavan, Chief Business Officer Philipp Schindler, and Chief Legal Officer Kent Walker, will have their annual salaries increased from USD 650,000 to USD 1 million.

governance in brief

Governance in Brief – January 06, 2022

Vivendi moves towards full control of Lagardère Vivendi has announced that it is acquiring activist investor Amber Capital’s 17.5% stake in French media and retail group Lagardère, at a price of EUR 24.10 per share. The transaction will result in Vivendi owning 45.1% of Lagardère, triggering a full bid for the company due to the 30% mandatory bid threshold having been breached. Accordingly, Vivendi plans to make an offer of EUR 24.10 per share for Lagardère’s remaining stake by February 2022. The deal marks the latest chapter in a multiyear dispute over Lagardère’s control and governance. Vivendi, today Lagardère’s largest shareholder, started building its stake in April 2020, as Lagardère’s managing partner Arnaud Lagardère clashed with Amber over the company’s governance structure. At the time, Lagardère was a French “partnership limited by shares,” which allowed Arnaud Lagardère to retain control despite only holding around 7% of capital. While Vivendi initially supported Arnaud Lagardère’s attempt to fend off a proxy contest from Amber at the 2020 AGM, it later joined Amber in requesting board representation. In April 2021, Arnaud Lagardère bowed to shareholder pressure by agreeing to convert Lagardère into a joint stock company.

governance in brief

Governance in Brief – December 16, 2021

Vivendi moves towards full control of Lagardère Vivendi has announced that it is acquiring activist investor Amber Capital’s 17.5% stake in French media and retail group Lagardère, at a price of EUR 24.10 per share. The transaction will result in Vivendi owning 45.1% of Lagardère, triggering a full bid for the company due to the 30% mandatory bid threshold having been breached. Accordingly, Vivendi plans to make an offer of EUR 24.10 per share for Lagardère’s remaining stake by February 2022. The deal marks the latest chapter in a multiyear dispute over Lagardère’s control and governance. Vivendi, today Lagardère’s largest shareholder, started building its stake in April 2020, as Lagardère’s managing partner Arnaud Lagardère clashed with Amber over the company’s governance structure. At the time, Lagardère was a French “partnership limited by shares,” which allowed Arnaud Lagardère to retain control despite only holding around 7% of capital. While Vivendi initially supported Arnaud Lagardère’s attempt to fend off a proxy contest from Amber at the 2020 AGM, it later joined Amber in requesting board representation. In April 2021, Arnaud Lagardère bowed to shareholder pressure by agreeing to convert Lagardère into a joint stock company.