NYC funds urging independent corporate chairs

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Associated Press

Posted on August 22, 2013 at 10:01 AM

Updated Thursday, Aug 22 at 10:02 AM

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York City's public pension funds have pushed this year for independent board chairs at several U.S. corporations, winning the shareholder vote at Netflix.

Arguing that chief executives shouldn't also chair the boards responsible for CEO oversight, the funds proposed similar measures at Aetna, Johnson Controls, Mylan, Urban Outfitters and JPMorgan Chase and gathered support ranging from 30 percent to 42 percent despite company opposition.

Assistant city comptroller Michael Garland says having top corporate positions held by one individual is an inherent conflict of interest.

At Netflix, the Los Gatos, Calif.-based provider of movies and other television content for almost 38 million subscribers, the proposal got 73.4 percent support in June. But co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings has remained chairman.

Netflix has said its corporate posture is "appropriate."

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