Intel has faced scrutiny over the divide between the values it portrays as a company and how it spends its political contributions.
At its most recent shareholder event last week, the tech giant was asked to give more detail as to the recipients of the Intel Political Action Committee. These include 2016 American presidential hopeful Ted Cruz, as well as many politicians who voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. That is jarring against the company's values, including diversity and climate change.
Stakeholder NorthStar Asset Management filed a proposal during the shareholder meeting to get Intel to provide further details of its political contributions, something the tech giant's board of directors encouraged shareholders to vote against.
“Regarding our shareholder proposal at Intel for this year, we would like Intel management to perform deeper analysis on political contributions made by the company and IPAC, specifically related to how the voting records of those political candidates may pose a risk to the company if and when they are misaligned with the company’s values, goals, and policies.” NorthStar Asset Management director of shareholder activism Mari Schwartzer, who wrote the aforementioned proposal, told PCGamesN
“The end goal is to encourage the company to perform this analysis in order to protect shareholder value from the risks that may come from misaligned political contributions, but also to encourage conversation within the company to evaluate candidates in a more complete, holistic manner.
“It is crucially important that we engage companies on their political contributions to help them understand that by supporting candidates that seek to undo social progress, the company and its employees may suffer.”
Intel provided comment, saying: “We regularly evaluate our political spending for effectiveness and alignment as part of our contributions process. We recognise that it is impractical and unrealistic to expect that our company, stockholders, and stakeholders will agree with every issue that a politician or trade association may support, particularly given our strategy of bipartisan giving. As part of our process, we assess recipients’ overall voting records related to our key policy issues and make funding decisions that we believe in aggregate will have the greatest benefit for our stockholders and key stakeholders.”