Although the business world and the public at large have been fascinated by the words and actions of Elon Musk for several years, that fascination has reached new heights over the past several weeks. The business world recently learned that Musk has spent his time in recent weeks criticizing Twitter, buying a large stake in the company, accepting a seat on Twitter’s board, rejecting the seat on Twitter’s board, and then offering to buy Twitter and take the company private. Twitter responded to this offer by implementing a so-called “poison pill.”
Proxy access is not about giving shareholder’s rights, it is about checking C-suite power so that everyone wins instead of just the CEOs. Proxy access has the potential to address some of the pressing issues with corporate power. Corporate power and influence are concentrated in the board of directors, proxy access gives shareholders the opportunity to infiltrate this exclusive “inner circle” of power. Shareholder access to the board can push change towards greater diversity in the boardroom and demand greater transparency and compliance.
California signed SB 826 (“Act”) into law on September 20, 2018, requiring all publicly-traded California companies to have at least one female on their board of directors by the end of 2019. The law was enacted to create more diversity in corporate governance and expedite the slow movement toward gender parity in the boardroom. Now that each company should have at least one female member on their board of directors, the California Secretary of State (“SOS”) has released a document showing which companies complied and which companies will be facing fines.