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Investors Ask Newell Brands Board to Commit to Diversity When Selecting New CEO

May 6, 2019

Newell Brands Inc.

Attention: Board of Directors, c/o Corporate Secretary

221 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030

 

Dear Newell Board of Directors:

The below investors are writing to urge you to make a public commitment to a diverse slate when selecting a new Chief Executive Officer to replace current CEO Michael Polk.

The business case showing that diversity inclusive of gender, race, and ethnicity on boards in senior management and in the workforce is compelling. In particular, a growing body of research indicates a positive relationship between firm value and the percentage of women and minorities in senior leadership roles. For example, a recent McKinsey & Company report found that companies in the top quartile for gender or racial ethnicity are more likely to outperform national industry medians. Despite this, the number of women and people of color in leadership roles at public companies remains remarkably low. Women hold only nine percent of top executive roles in the Russell 3000.

As members of The Thirty Percent Coalition, a national organization committed to promote women and particularly women of color in corporate boardrooms, we commend Newell Brands for expanding gender diversity on its board in 2018. It is time, however, to extend the same focus and accountability to building diversity in the company’s leadership ranks. As the Board undergoes the search for a new Chief Executive Officer, it has an important opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to building a diverse executive team.

The undersigned, therefore, request that the Newell Brands Board of Directors make a public commitment to creating a diverse pool of candidates when selecting a new Chief Executive Officer.

Sincerely,

 

Brianna Murphy

Vice President

Trillium Asset Management

Luan Jenifer

Chief Operating Officer

Miller/Howard Investments, Inc.

Seth Magaziner

Rhode Island General Treasurer

Dorri McWhorter

Chief Executive Officer

YWCA Metropolitan Chicago

Alejandra Castillo

Chief Executive Officer

YWCA USA

Ethan Powell

Founder & President

Impact Shares

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Important Disclosure: This is not a recommendation to buy or sell any of the securities mentioned. It should not be assumed that investments in such securities have been or will be profitable. The specific securities were selected on an objective basis and do not represent all of the securities purchased, sold or recommended for advisory clients.

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