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 ClarkePoll shows Rep. Luis Gutiérrez as front-runner in Chicago mayoral race Overnight Defense: Officials rush to deny writing anonymous op-ed | Lawmakers offer measure on naming NATO headquarters after McCain | US, India sign deal on sharing intel Dems plan resolution to withdraw US forces from Yemen civil war MORE (D-N.Y.), Robin KellyRobin Lynne KellyFacebook to remove over 5K ad target options to curb discrimination Dems want GOP chairman to subpoena State Department over cyber docs Lawmakers sound alarm over Amazon face recognition software MORE (D-Ill.), Bonnie Watson ColemanBonnie Watson ColemanHillicon Valley: Sanders finds perfect target in Amazon | Cyberattacks are new fear 17 years after 9/11 | Firm outs alleged British Airways hackers | Trump to target election interference with sanctions | Apple creating portal for police data requests Cyberattacks are a constant fear 17 years after 9/11 Beware the ides of the African American woman 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.