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 ClarkeDem lawmakers urge FCC to scrutinize broadcast workforce diversity Hillicon Valley: House votes to reinstate net neutrality rules | GOP lawmakers lay into Twitter, Facebook over censorship claims | Amazon workers push company on climate | Bill targets algorithmic bias | Yahoo to pay 7M in breach settlement Dems introduce bill targeting bias in algorithms MORE (D-N.Y.), Robin KellyRobin Lynne KellyThe Congressional Black Caucus: America stands to lose a lot under TrumpCare Pelosi joins other Dem leaders in support of Chicago Symphony Orchestra strikers Hillicon Valley: US threatens to hold intel from Germany over Huawei | GOP senator targets FTC over privacy | Bipartisan bill would beef up 'internet of things' security | Privacy groups seize on suspended NSA program | Tesla makes U-turn MORE (D-Ill.), Bonnie Watson ColemanBonnie Watson ColemanOvernight Energy: Interior chief says climate response falls on Congress | Bernhardt insists officials will complete offshore drilling plans | Judge rules EPA must enforce Obama landfill pollution rules Trump Interior chief says climate change response falls on Congress Interior chief says offshore drilling plan not 'indefinitely sidelined' 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.