Alphabet Inc. investors concerned with the tech giant’s handling of sexual misconduct are calling for a new policy to claw back executive pay. The proposed clawback, which goes to a shareholder vote June 19, would go beyond the typical scope of recouping executive pay after financial misconduct to cover other ethical issues like sexual harassment.
The shareholder proposal at Alphabet echoes boardroom discussions happening across corporate America as the #MeToo movement has felled several high-profile executives accused of sexual harassment. Some companies are considering updates to their clawback policies as a way to deter sexual misconduct in the workplace, but one of the challenges is deciding how far such policies should go.
“A lot of this is very subjective,” said Deborah Lifshey, a managing director at executive compensation consultant Pearl Meyer. “Do you leave it open to morals? Or get specific into MeToo and harassment?”