Starbucks (SBUX): How I Voted

Starbucks (SBUX) is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is on 3/21/2012. Voting ends 3/20 on‘s platform, which listed recommendations from eight “good causes,”including four consolidations. had three fund families voting but is easier to view.

SBUX’s SummaryCompensation Table shows that Howard Schultz, our CEO/Chair, was the highest paid named executive officer (NEO) at about $16M in 2011. According to the United States Proxy Exchange (USPX) guidelines, the median CEO compensation for large-cap corporations was $9 million in 2010.  I’m voting against most pay packages above the median, otherwise we’ll have continuous ratcheting upwards with more and more going to a few at the top. That’s unsustainable. I see Domini is also voting against the compensation package and the bonus plan, as is Trillium. I also make it a policy to vote against members of the compensation committee when I vote against the compensation package, so voted against Johnson, Shennan, Teruel and Ullman.

Like all the funds listed on and the “advocates” listed on (except Trillium, which abstained), I voted in favor of the proposal by Harrington Investments to Amend Bylaws to Establish a Board Committee on Environmental Sustainability:

Such committee could engage in ongoing review of corporate policies, above and beyond matters of legal compliance, to assess the Corporation’s response to changing conditions and knowledge of the natural environment, including but not limited to, waste creation and disposal, natural resource limitations, energy use, waste usage, and climate change.

The Board of Directors is authorized in its discretion, consistent with these Bylaws and the Washington Business Corporation Act, by resolution adopted by a majority of the Board members to: (1) select the members of the Committee, (2) provide said committee with funds for operating expenses, (3) prescribe guidelines for said Committee’s operations, (4) empower said Committee to solicit public input and to issue periodic reports to shareholders and the public, at reasonable expense and excluding him [sic] confidential information, on the Committee’s activities, findings and recommendations, and (5) adopt any other measures within the Board’s discretion consistent with these Bylaws and applicable law.

For all other directors and in all other matters, I voted as recommended by management. Mark your calendar. Proposals by shareowners for next year:

must be received by us at our executive offices at 2401 Utah Avenue South, Mail Stop S-LA1, Seattle, Washington 98134, Attention: Corporate Secretary, on or prior to September 28, 2012.


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