Starbucks Agrees to Declassify Board of Directors
Napa Valley, CA///November 30, 2005///In response to a shareholder proposal filed by Harrington Investments, Inc. (HII), Starbucks has agreed to de-classify its Board of Directors, beginning with the 2007 Annual Shareholders Meeting.
If approved by shareholders, management's amendment to declassify the Board will require that beginning in 2007, all directors will be elected annually instead of every three years.
"All directors should be elected annually by shareholders," said John Harrington, President and CEO of HII, a Napa, California-based socially responsible investment advisory firm. "This is the first step in truly democratizing the election of the board of directors of Starbucks."
"I'm hopeful that the next step will be an open nomination process whereby shareholders can actually nominate director candidates which will appear in the company's proxy solicitation material, and that those candidates must receive a majority of the total vote cast to be elected to the board of directors."
In management's supporting statement that will be mailed to Starbuck's shareholders as Proposal 3 - Amendment to Articles of Incorporation to Provide for the Annual Election of All Directors, management stated that ". . . annual elections are in line with emerging practices in the area of corporate governance, as it provides shareholders the opportunity to register their views on performance of the entire Board each year," and that it would be ". . .in the best interests of the Company and its shareholders at this time."
Harrington concluded by saying "It's been a great pleasure to see how responsive Starbucks has been to shareholders on this important corporate governance issue. I look forward to working with Starbucks and other publicly-traded corporations to insure that shareholders have access to the nomination process and that all directors are annually elected by a majority vote of shareholders."
CONTACT: John Harrington or Peri Payne