Fenwick corporate governance co-chair David Bell talked to the Silicon Valley Business Journal about the firm’s recent report on the 2020 proxy season and its findings. The report highlights trends in director elections, say-on-pay, stockholder proposals and annual meeting participation among technology and life sciences companies in Silicon Valley and nationwide.

Bell shared with the Silicon Valley Business Journal his perspective that many people expected current circumstances—including the COVID-19 pandemic and fluctuations in the economy—to have a more significant impact on companies in Silicon Valley than they really did.

He noted that stockholder meeting participation remained similar to past years, despite the fact that many of these meetings went virtual in response to the pandemic.

Further, Bell discussed the overall higher levels of shareholder support for companies’ executive compensation in Silicon Valley as compared to large public companies nationwide.

“What it reflects is that Silicon Valley has done relatively well in the COVID environment,” he said.

Bell also attributed the lack of proxy fights over director elections to the pandemic, citing a reluctance by companies to engage in contested elections as the COVID-19 situation was developing.

To learn about more specific findings, read the full report that Bell co-authored.

The article is available on the Silicon Valley Business Journal (subscription required).​

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