New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced that the New York State Common Retirement Fund (Fund) has withdrawn its shareholder proposal at The Priceline Group Inc. after the company agreed to formally include gender and racial diversity among the qualities it will actively seek in its board members. When the Fund filed its request for Priceline to commit to board diversity, the company had just one female director. In January, it added a second female director to its now 11-person board.
“We encourage our portfolio companies to commit to a diversity of experience and thought on their boards because it is an asset to business,” DiNapoli said. “Fresh ideas can revive stagnant and homogenized boards, and companies with directors from diverse backgrounds are better positioned to generate long-term company growth. Priceline should be commended for pursuing board diversity.”
View the proposal that was filed and withdrawn at Priceline:
The Fund currently has shareholder proposals seeking board diversity commitments at a number of companies including FleetCor Technologies and LinkedIn. DiNapoli has filed similar proposals with 17 portfolio corporations since 2012, including Priceline. The Fund withdrew its proposal from 12 of the companies after reaching agreements.
About the New York State Common Retirement Fund
The New York State Common Retirement Fund is the third largest public pension fund in the United States with estimated assets of $178.3 billion as of Dec. 31, 2015. The Fund holds and invests the assets of the New York State and Local Retirement System on behalf of more than one million state and local government employees and retirees and their beneficiaries. The Fund has consistently been ranked as one of the best managed and best funded plans in the nation. The Fund’s fiscal year ends March 31, 2017.