One of America’s biggest corporation is adopting the “Rooney Rule,” promising to consider women and minorities for all open positions on its board of directors.
Amazon announced in an SEC filing on Monday: “The Amazon Board of Directors has adopted a policy that the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee include a slate of diverse candidates, including women and minorities, for all director openings.”
The Amazon board had previously expressed opposition to a formal adoption of the policy, which caused consternation among some employees. Currently, the ten members of Amazon’s board are white, with seven being men, and three women.
The Rooney Rule, named after Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney, requires all NFL teams to interview at least one minority candidate for head coaching and senior coaching and management jobs.
Below is Amazon’s full statement on the matter.
The full Board, on the recommendation of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, nominates candidates for election to the Board. In selecting candidates for recommendation to the Board, the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee annually reviews the tenure, performance, and contributions of existing Board members to the extent they are candidates for re-election, and considers all aspects of each candidate’s qualifications and skills in the context of the needs of the Company at that point in time with a view to creating a Board with a diversity of experience and perspectives, including diversity with respect to race, gender, geography, and areas of expertise.
Accordingly, the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee includes, and has any search firm that it engages include, women and minority candidates in the pool from which the Committee selects director candidates. Among the qualifications and skills of a candidate considered important by the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee are a commitment to representing the long-term interests of the shareowners; customer experience skills; internet savvy; an inquisitive and objective perspective; the willingness to take appropriate risks; leadership ability; personal and professional ethics, integrity and values; practical wisdom and sound judgment; and business and professional experience in fields such as operations, technology, finance/accounting or marketing.