IN LIGHT of the e-proxy process that will be available to companies next proxy season, it’s interesting to watch how U.S. companies are handling their annual meetings on their websites this year.
Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) is holding its annual meeting tomorrow. It’s going to be a well-attended event. But on the Web, something is missing.
Here are three screenshots showing you what visitors to the company’s IR website are likely to experience right now — a day before the big event.
We start on the investor relations homepage where there are two links to the annual meeting webcast page. The link on the right looks like it could go somewhere else more promising, but it doesn’t.
And there’s a link to download the proxy statement in PDF. There’s no HTML, as is required under the e-proxy process, so that’s something they’ll have to work on if they want to save the environment next year. But that’s not what I’m looking for now.
We go to the webcast page. See next screenshot.
Since the event doesn’t start for a while there’s not much to see here. Except, hey, here’s a small “click here” link for additional details. Wonder what that could be.
Not bad. These are useful details for people who are going to attend the meeting, including the driving directions and the parking information. The link to the webcast bottom right takes us back to where we came from, while the link to “investor relations” takes you back to the IR homepage that’s in the first screenshot.
So that’s it. The path runs cold here. And there’s something missing. In fact, they’ve overlooked the most important item of all.
That’s right. Where do I vote on the Internet? The poll closes at 11:59 p.m. Pacific tonight.
And there’s no more fundamental form of stakeholder engagement than facilitating shareholders to vote at the annual meeting. — By Dominic Jones.