We engaged with Bloomin’ Brands, the parent company of several casual-dining restaurant chains. The range of topics we covered included a shareholder proposal to declassify (annually elect) the board of directors.
We shared with the company our intention to support the proposal. A declassified board can empower shareholders to use their voice and vote to hold directors accountable. We also noted our preference that the board adopt other shareholder-friendly governance provisions, such as proxy access and the right to call a special meeting. Company leaders indicated their support for proxy access and special-meeting policies and said they would look to transition to annual director elections within the next few years.
…In an industry that COVID-19 has severely affected, we were encouraged by the board’s responsiveness and support of management in this challenging environment.