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 26, 2023

Beijing takes golden shares in Alibaba units The Chinese government has acquired golden shares in two Alibaba subsidiaries, allowing it to exert veto power over major decisions while maintaining a relatively modest equity investment. A unit of state-backed Zhejiang Media Group first acquired such a minority stake in one Alibaba subsidiaries in September 2022, and an arm of the Cyberspace Administration of China (“CAC”) acquired a minority stake in another subsidiary in January 2023.

governance in brief

Governance in Brief – January 19, 2023

Beijing takes golden shares in Alibaba units The Chinese government has acquired golden shares in two Alibaba subsidiaries, allowing it to exert veto power over major decisions while maintaining a relatively modest equity investment. A unit of state-backed Zhejiang Media Group first acquired such a minority stake in one Alibaba subsidiaries in September 2022, and an arm of the Cyberspace Administration of China (“CAC”) acquired a minority stake in another subsidiary in January 2023.

governance in brief

Governance in Brief – January 12, 2023

Global investors pressure Glencore over coal production A group of investors with a combined USD 2.2 trillion in assets under management has submitted a shareholder proposal to the AGM of Glencore Plc, calling for improved disclosure on the commodity giant’s thermal coal operations and the alignment of these with the group’s public commitment to support the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 °C. The resolution constitutes a significant escalation of pressure on the mining company, which had already seen nearly a quarter of shareholders reject its climate progress report in April 2022.

governance in brief

Governance in Brief – January 5, 2023

U.S.-listed Chinese companies drop Hong Kong listing plans Several U.S.-listed Chinese companies, including Pinduoduo and Full Truck Alliance, have reportedly dropped plans to list their shares on the Hong Kong exchange. The decision came after the U.S. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (“PCAOB”) announced that it had secured full access to investigate China-based audit firms, and that it had already reviewed eight audits conducted by Chinese KPMG and PwC affiliates. Chinese authorities had previously opposed any such disclosure, citing national security concerns.