Activists burrowing into the corporate world

Peta Credlin on Sky News interviews Janet Albrechtsen of the Australian.

Activists using companies ‘as Trojan horses to push social agendas’

15/11/2019|10min

Janet Albrechtsen has called out a major issue facing corporate Australia with activists “using companies as Trojan horses to push their social agendas”.

Ms Albrechtsen revealed in The Australian on Friday a push to remove Harvey Norman CEO Katie Page from the board of the company and have her replaced by shareholder activist Stephen Mayne.

Corporate advisory group Ownership Matters has advised its clients to vote against the re-election of Ms Page and instead support Mr Mayne, who has no corporate experience in retail or property.

Ms Albrechtsen said such a move is “not in the interests of shareholders” and “not in the interests of innovation”. “Companies should have enough latitude to try out different models of corporate governance to see what works,” she said.

Ms Albrechtsen said the “silver lining” of this “dreadful saga” is that it has “completely blown the diversity agenda out of the water”. “If diversity now means getting rid of the most experienced person on the board, and in her place putting a man who has zero experience to be on the board of Harvey Norman … diversity has now lost any kind of credibility.”

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