Boardroom Alpha Daily Read

by | Apr 21, 2022

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Amazon Says it will be 100% Renewable by 2025

Amazon (AMZN) announced an increase of its renewable energy portfolio by nearly 30%, with 37 new wind and solar energy projects around the world totaling 3.5 GW of clean energy capacity.  The company expects to achieve its sustainability goals– including reaching net zero emissions by 2040 and powering 100% of company activities with renewable energy– by 2025. That’s five years ahead of its original 2030 goal.

Amazon is the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy in the world, with a renewables portfolio of 17.7 GW across 310 projects and 19 countries. Once operational, Amazon says its portfolio of projects will produce enough renewable energy to power 3.9 million U.S. homes and avoid 17.3 million metric tons of carbon emissions annually.

Sustainability has been a hot-button issue for Amazon, which has come under fire for vastly undercounting its carbon footprint. Last year, the tech giant received an F grade for failing to disclose its carbon footprint to nonprofit CDP (originally known as the Carbon Disclosure Project). Last year, Amazon submitted to CDP’s questionnaire for the first time. But unlike the majority of companies pressured by investors to disclose, Amazon asked that its report not be shared publicly. 

Taking a closer look at other related ESG metrics, executive compensation remains a key concern. Amazon CEO Andy Jassy was paid $212.7M in 2021, his first year running the company. Jassy’s 2021 compensation marks a sixfold increase to his pay in 2020, when he was head of AWS, Amazon’s cloud computing business. Of note: 81% of shareholders voted in favor of the executive compensation plan in last year’s Say-on-Pay vote.

Overpaid? Amazon 2021 Pay for Performance Assessment

Source: Boardroom Alpha

Activision Blizzard Gets a Board Refresh Ahead of Microsoft Deal

Videogame maker Activision Blizzard (ATVI) today announced the addition of two new senior women executives to its Board. Lulu Cheng Meservey has joined the Board, effective immediately. Cheng Meservey is currently VP of communications at Substack (privately-held). Kerry Carr will be nominated for election to the Company’s Board of Directors at Activision Blizzard’s 2022 annual meeting. Carr is currently an SVP with Bacardi (privately held) and alum of The Walt Disney Company (DIS). Hendrik J. Hartong III and Casey Wasserman will not stand for re-election at the 2022 Annual Meeting. 

Activision’s board has been criticized for supporting CEO Bobby Kotick amidst allegations of a toxic culture.  The company has faced an onslaught of discrimination and sexual harassment lawsuits and federal investigations.

Executive compensation is another important notable concern, with the company’s C-suite and directors overpaid relative to peers. Notably, only 55% of shareholders voted in favor in the company’s 2021 Say-on-Pay vote. Following the sexual harassment allegations, in October 2021, Kotick took a pay cut which reduced his overall annual compensation to $62,500 and did not give him any additional bonuses or equity. That said, critics viewed the reduction as an “empty public gesture” in light of the severity of the allegations facing the company.

Relating to compensation, there are obvious concerns around Kotick, who could could receive as much as $22 million in stock in July or later, if Activision’s board sees improvement in company culture. Should Kotick be fired without cause by Microsoft, he’ll get a $15 million “golden parachute,” according to the filing’s compensation proposal.

Overpaid? Activision 2020 Pay for Performance Assessment

Source: Boardroom Alpha

Regulators are currently reviewing the $68.7 billion proposed acquisition by Microsoft (MSFT). Since the January announcement, the deal has come under significant scrutiny– both by the FTC and shareholders of both companies. The FTC is currently conducting an antitrust review to determine whether the takeover would give Xbox an unfair competitive advantage. Earlier this month, members of the US Senate also wrote a letter of concern about the deal, suggesting that Microsoft’s acquisition could lead to sexual misconduct accusations being swept under the rug. An improvement of Activision’s corporate culture is critical to the success of this transaction, which would be Microsoft’s largest to date. Activision Blizzard investors will vote for or against the proposed takeover in a special meeting of stockholders on April 28. 

Read our full report here.

Best of the Rest

Boardroom Alpha Podcast

Want to dive deeper into the ESG? Want to see more women in technology? Check out our recent podcast with Neha Palmer, CEO of privately-held Terrawatt Infrastructure. Palmer is a household name in the green community and corporate sustainability movement, having previously served as Head of Energy Strategy at Google. As Google’s first hire focused on data center energy, Palmer built and led the team developing electric infrastructure and electricity procurement for its global fleet, which covers dozens of sites over four continents.

At Terrawatt, she’s working on financing and developing electric vehicle charging assets for the transition to vehicle electrification. As some of the biggest logistics companies in the world transition their fleets to electric– names like Amazon, UPS, Fedex and others– Terrawatt is a name to watch.

Check out our latest Boardroom Alpha podcasts here.

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<a href="https://www.boardroomalpha.com/author/joanna/" target="_self">Joanna Makris</a>

Joanna Makris

Joanna has been analyzing and investing in emerging technologies for over two decades, having led the Technology, Media, and Telecom research at several global investment banks, including Mizuho Securities and Canaccord Genuity. Navigating stock market volatility since it all began in 2000. Banjo player, artist, and frittata-maker.

Know Who Drives Return

Objective, data-driven assessments for every public company director and officer.

SPAC Analytics & Database

Comprehensive research and analytics on every SPAC, sponsor, and deal. Real-time alerts, yields, red flags, filings, investors, and much more. API access to institutional grade SPAC database.

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Disclaimer

The opinions and information contained herein have been obtained or derived from sources believed to be reliable, but Boardroom Alpha cannot guarantee its accuracy and completeness, and that of the opinions based thereon. 

This report contains opinions and is provided for informational purposes only – it does not constitute investment, legal or tax advice. You should not rely solely upon the research herein for purposes of transacting securities or other investments, and you are encouraged to conduct your own research and due diligence, and to seek the advice of a qualified securities professional before you make any investment.  

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