Nestlé shareholders appoint new board member at AGM

Nestlé shareholders have reportedly approved all of the Board of Directors’ proposals at its 154th Annual General Meeting, including electing a new executive member, Lindiwe Majele Sibanda, writes Neill Barston.

Presently serving as chairwoman of the African Research Universities Alliance Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Food Systems, University of Pretoria, South Africa, its latest board representative has over 30 years industry experience.

As the new board appointee, Sibanda (pictured below), from Zimbabwe, has specialised in agriculture and rural development, and is the founder and managing Director at Linds Agricultural Services in Harare.

Due to concerns for the health and safety of shareholders and in line with the current rules of the Swiss authorities, shareholders could not attend the meeting in person. All legal proceedings were carried out as required.

Major environmental investment

Following the publication of Nestlé’s detailed, time-bound roadmap to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, Nestlé sought the support of its shareholders for its plan.

The advisory vote was put on this year’s agenda ahead of upcoming changes to Swiss legislation that will stipulate the requirements for non-financial reporting. Shareholders voted in favour of the roadmap – which includes placing a significant focus on sustainable cocoa sourcing as part of its environmental goals.

Shareholders were able to exercise their voting rights through the Independent Representative, who acted on behalf of 58.2 percent of Nestlé’s capital and 79.9 percent of Nestlé shares entitled to vote.

Nestlé Chairman Paul Bulcke commented: “Due to the pandemic we held our Annual General Meeting today without shareholders. I am proud of how Nestlé has proven to be reliable in these challenging times and thank our shareholders for their continued engagement and support. We look forward to seeing them again next year.”

Ursula Burns, a Nestlé Board member since 2017, did not stand for re-election. On behalf of the Board, the Chairman wholeheartedly thanked Ursula Burns for her expert advice, valuable perspectives and significant contributions.

The Chairman and all other members of the Board of Directors were elected individually for a term of office until the end of the next Annual General Meeting. Shareholders also elected the members of the Compensation Committee for a one-year term.

The annual review and the accounts were approved, as were the proposed dividend of CHF 2.75 per share and the planned capital reduction.

Shareholders also approved the total compensation budgets for Nestlé’s Board of Directors and Executive Board. Fifteen percent of the Executive Board members’ short-term bonus will be linked to the achievement of Environment Social Governance-related objectives.

For the year ahead, the Board and its different committees will be composed as follows:

Board of Directors
Paul Bulcke, U. Mark Schneider, Henri de Castries, Renato Fassbind, Pablo Isla, Ann M. Veneman, Eva Cheng, Patrick Aebischer, Kasper Rorsted, Kimberly A. Ross, Dick Boer, Dinesh Paliwal, Hanne Jimenez de Mora, Lindiwe Majele Sibanda

Chair’s and Corporate Governance Committee
Paul Bulcke, U. Mark Schneider, Henri de Castries, Renato Fassbind, Pablo Isla, Ann M. Veneman

Compensation Committee
Pablo Isla, Patrick Aebischer, Dick Boer, Kasper Rorsted

Nomination Committee
Henri de Castries, Paul Bulcke, Eva Cheng, Dinesh Paliwal

Sustainability Committee
Ann M. Veneman, Dick Boer, Hanne Jimenez de Mora, Lindiwe Majele Sibanda

Audit Committee
Renato Fassbind, Henri de Castries, Eva Cheng, Kimberly A. Ross

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