IBM: Best Shareholder Engagement United States 2021


“Leadership is not a birthright – it takes perpetual reinvention”. These are the words of Arvind Krishna, CEO and chairman of IBM, the world’s oldest tech company. Since its foundation in New York in 1911, the company has been on a journey of continuous transformation – and at the heart of its operations is a determination to achieve transparent shareholder engagement. IBM has operations in 170 countries and employs 345,900 people, and shareholder interaction is a key element of operations. IBM is renowned for including shareholders in decision-making, both inside and outside the proxy periods. The pandemic failed to dent this strategy. In 2020, as the virus raged across the globe, IBM stepped up this engagement, with virtual meetings covering everything from company strategy to matters of governance and diversity, inclusion and environmental goals. Information is fed back to senior management and incorporated into decision-making. In 2020 IBM joined the battle against Covid-19, working with the US government to provide access to its powerful computing resource to support research. IBM, responding to shareholder concerns, has set targets to achieve net zero emissions by 2030, and has updated its aims on renewable energy. The company has made its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) data available to all its stakeholders. Reshaping the future of the company as a hybrid cloud and AI platform will give clients the digital ability to thrive in the post-pandemic period. The judging panel recognises IBM’s commitment to shareholder involvement and is pleased to present the company with the 2021 award for Best Shareholder Engagement United States.

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