Amazon: How I Voted

Amazon (AMZN) is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up June 7 and today is the last day to vote using the platform. had eight “good causes,” including three consolidations. had five funds voting. Wow, just glancing, I see Calvert, CBIS and the Unitarians are voting against all the board members. It looks like the votes are related to a shareowner proposal on climate change. (Calvert Investments Calls on to Disclose Climate Change Impact)

Looking at Amazon’s proxy, I surprised to see it isn’t linked and doesn’t even have a table of contents. With all that cloud computing, they don’t look very high-tech here. Checking the Summary Compensation Table, it appears Jeffrey A. Wilke, a senior vice president, was the highest paid at a little over $7 million. Using the United States Proxy Exchange (USPX) released draft guidelines, I voted against most pay packages over the median for large-caps of $9 million. Amazon seems like the first stock I’ve voted in a while that actually passes the test, so I voted in favor of the pay package.  I voted in favor of all the directors and the auditor but voted for an annual say on pay, not every three years as recommended by management.

Of course, I voted in favor of my own proposal to allow shareowners holding 10% of outstanding common stock to call a special shareowner meeting. I view it as simple good governance with 60% support at CVS Caremark, Sprint Nextel, Safeway, Motorola and R. R. Donnelley.

I also voted in favor of Calvert’s proposal requesting the Board of Directors release a report describing how Amazon is assessing the impact of climate change on the corporation. Given that we are already seen an increase in damaging storms and freak weather, this is a very reasonable request. Scientists have even shown a link between intensifying climate events and tectonic plate movement… if that isn’t scary, what is?


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