FFC proposal at Texas Instruments featured on PBS NewsHourJuly 27, 2023
This past proxy season Friends Fiduciary filed a proposal at Texas Instruments (TI) in response to investor concerns around the discovery of company dual-use components (products that can be used for civilian and military applications) found in Russian weapons in Ukraine. These components appear in Russian weapons systems including cruise and ballistic missiles, precision munitions and other electronic warfare applications which are dependent on these chips for their operation. The proposal requested the TI Board to commission an independent third-party report on the company’s human rights’ due diligence process to determine whether its customers use of its products or services contribute or are linked to violations of international law. This was featured on PBS NewsHour’s reporting titled “Parts made by U.S. companies used to build Russian cruise missiles.” The PBS NewsHour coverage simply noted that the proposal was “voted down,” meaning it did not receive a majority vote. However, the proposal did garner a 23% FOR vote from TI’s shareholders, which is a significant vote in support for a first-time proposal on a new issue. As the lead filers, we felt PBS’s coverage lacked understanding of the context around the proposal and failed to explain who filed the proposal and why.
Friends Fiduciary’s Executive Director, Jeff Perkins, has reached out to the PBS NewsHour team to explain the reasoning behind and implications of the proposal and vote count. Noting the work that faith- and values-based investors have done in leading on this issue through direct shareholder engagement with semi-conductor companies. The letter sent to PBS NewsHour can be found here.