Efforts to diversify Google parent Alphabet Inc.’s board of directors should include ideology, according to a conservative group confronting companies on the same issues as other shareholder advocates.
The National Center for Public Policy Research got a proposal onto Alphabet’s ballot that looks a lot like one from New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, who has been pushing companies for more reporting on their directors’ race, gender, and skills. The center’s copycat proposal adds ideological diversity to the list of desired disclosures.
“They see diversity as what someone looks like,” Justin Danhof, the National Center for Public Policy Research’s general counsel, told Bloomberg Law, referring to activist shareholders like Stringer who usually advocate from the left. “True diversity comes from diversity of thought.”
Danhof pressed Alphabet at its annual meeting last year over the firing of engineer James Damore, who wrote a controversial memo criticizing the company’s diversity policies.
Alphabet, which said it’s committed to diversity “in and outside of the boardroom,” is telling investors to vote against the ideological diversity proposal at this year’s meeting in June. The company’s existing disclosures provide much of what the proposal is seeking, Alphabet’s board wrote in an April 27 regulatory filing.