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.”

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 ClarkeHere are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment The Hill's Morning Report — Trump retreats on census citizenship question CBC lawmakers rip Justice Democrats for targeting black lawmakers for primaries MORE (D-N.Y.), Robin KellyRobin Lynne KellyHere are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment The Hill's Morning Report — Trump retreats on census citizenship question CBC lawmakers rip Justice Democrats for targeting black lawmakers for primaries MORE (D-Ill.), Bonnie Watson ColemanBonnie Watson ColemanHere are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment Racial politics roil Democratic Party Harris hops past Biden in early race for Black Caucus support 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.