On Thursday, National Legal and Policy Center presented a resolution at The Home Depot, Inc.’s annual shareholder meeting that would require the board to implement a policy to require the chair of the board of directors to be an independent member from the CEO.
The company’s board of directors opposed our proposal, as explained on pages 37-38 in its proxy statement.
Speaking as sponsor of the resolution was Paul Chesser, director of NLPC’s Corporate Integrity Project. His three-minute remarks, which you can listen to here, follow:
I am Paul Chesser, director of the Corporate Integrity Project for National Legal and Policy Center.
When we filed our resolution to request the board implement an independent chair policy, then-CEO Craig Menear held both roles, but that is not the case now.
However, if our resolution fails and history repeats itself, it won’t be long before Mr. [Ted] Decker is elevated and both roles are combined at Home Depot once again…
Two business law professors not long ago wrote for Harvard Business Review that having the Chair and CEO roles separate “strengthens the quality of questions the corporation asks itself.”
In that spirit, I have some questions that I believe Home Depot’s board and executives should ask themselves.
- Should ESG remain a priority for the company?
An enormous backlash against “woke” – which many Americans equate with ESG – has built up in the country.
Just look at what’s happening to Disney in Florida.
And watch what’s happening across the country now.
Americans are furious at the price of gasoline and electricity, which is 100-percent driven by unscientific, climate-alarmist ESG policies that have destroyed fossil fuel development in the United States.
And it’s contributing to the record inflation we see.
Corporate America is facing it now, and the political party in power in Washington will face a reckoning over it this November.
Home Depot should heed these warning signs.
- Is Home Depot’s leadership honest with shareholders?
The reason I ask, is because ESG turns executives into liars.
For example, Home Depot will NOT, as its website claims, have electricity at all its facilities that will be generated 100-percent by renewables by 2030.
It’s not possible. It defies energy physics, and is scientifically and economically impossible.
Buying carbon indulgences and other accounting tricks doesn’t make it not-a-lie.
After the S&P 500 ESG Index placed Exxon in its Top Ten and left Tesla out of its rankings, Elon Musk tweeted, “ESG is a scam. It has been weaponized by phony social justice warriors.”
He couldn’t be more right.
I call on you to return to honesty and real science, and to be truthful with your customers and shareholders.
- Can Home Depot’s executives resist pressure from progressive radicals and exercise real leadership?
The answer is you can, because you didn’t fall into the trap of demonizing the Georgia election integrity law last year.
But you still pandered and caved, by giving one-million-dollars to a group that did demonize that law.
Buying off NGOs for their silence is not good leadership.
Separating the Chair and CEO roles will strengthen Home Depot by fostering an environment to tackle difficult questions such as these.
Read NLPC’s resolution for The Home Depot’s annual shareholder meeting here.
Listen to Chesser’s three-minute remarks presenting the proposal here.