Amazon adopts NFL rule to boost diversity on its board

Amazon adopts NFL rule to boost diversity on its board
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Amazon is implementing its own version of the NFL's “Rooney Rule" — a measure aimed at increasing diversity among its board of directors.

According to the company’s corporate governance guidelines, revised on Monday, Amazon will now include “women and minority candidates in the pool” when selecting candidates for the board of directors.

Amazon said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Monday that the new text “formalizes a practice already in place.”

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The company’s board had previously urged shareholders to vote against a shareholder proposal to institute the "Rooney Rule."

In the NFL, the Rooney Rule requires teams to interview candidates from minority groups for considering hires for coaching or top executive positions. 

The changes also follow pushback from Reps. Yvette ClarkeYvette Diane ClarkeImmigrants stepped up during the pandemic — we must do the same for them Bipartisan House group introduces legislation to set term limit for key cyber leader Hillicon Valley — Industry groups want more time to report cybersecurity incidents MORE (D-N.Y.), Robin KellyRobin Lynne KellyInitial hospital costs for gun injuries tops B per year: GAO report Lobbying world Pharmaceutical industry donated to two-thirds of Congress ahead of 2020 elections: analysis MORE (D-Ill.), Bonnie Watson ColemanBonnie Watson ColemanLobbying world Democrats urge Biden to commute sentences of 4K people on home confinement Lawmakers spend more on personal security in wake of insurrection MORE (D-N.J.) and Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) who wrote a letter to Amazon on Monday lambasting its decision to not implement the Rooney Rule.

The lawmakers hammered Amazon over how its board has no members of color.

Amazon’s vice president of public policy responded to the group of lawmakers with a letter on Monday.

“We reached this decision after listening to your feedback as well as that from Amazon employees, shareholders, and other stakeholders about the Board diversity proposal,” Brian Huseman wrote. “These conversations led us to reconsider both our decision on the shareholder proposal and how we explained our initial recommendation.”

Huseman’s letter did not mention having a meeting between Amazon and the lawmakers as they requested in their letter. A source with knowledge of communication between the two said that no other plans have been made yet for a meeting.