Proxy Blog

Comcast Corporation

May 9, 2020

The annual proxy for the cable television and internet provider had the following proposals: 

  1. Proforma votes on directors, appointment of auditors, and “say-on-pay” advisory vote 
  2. Board proposals on stock option and restricted stock plans 
  3. Shareholder proposals on independent chairman, lobbying report, sexual harassment report 

Magni voted as follows: 

  1. For and against proforma proposals.
    For directors – The disclosures in the proxy meet the criteria in Magni’s policy on election of directors.
    -For auditors. There appear to be no controversies with the financial statements of the company.
    -Against say-on-pay”  The proxy had the same incomplete disclosures on executive compensation as last year, including insufficient activities regarding shareholder engagement and a lack of benchmarking. 
  2. For board proposals on stock option and restricted stock plans – Stock plans align the interests of the management team with the shareholders. 
  3. For shareholder proposals.
    Independent chairman – Magni wrote a position paper regarding shareholder proposals for independent chairman.
    -Lobbying report – This proposal is similar to versions in the prior two years. Last year Magni also voted for the proposal given the poor-quality company response. This year the company has not identified a single change from last year, while it still provides a long, rambling defense. Until Comcast changes, Magni will continue supporting these types of proposals. 
    -Sexual harassment report – Sexual harassment is a serious issue. Further, this company has been in the news for a high-profile incident, along with some less well-publicized incidents. While the company did conduct an investigation into the  incident, and some changes have been made, it is not clear whether a culture that appears to tolerate sexual harassment has been fixed. Magni will support this proposal as there isn’t enough evidence of change at the company.