Creating a Culture of Citizenship > Citizenship at Abbott Citizenship Management and Governance
Our commitment to good citizenship begins at the top. Global citizenship is valued and championed by our Board of Directors and led by our company’s senior management. The charter of the board’s Public Policy Committee includes the review and evaluation of Abbott policies and practices with respect to social responsibility.
Abbott has practiced strong, independent corporate governance throughout our history. This is an essential step in building trust among stakeholders, particularly investors. Our Board of Directors has long had a majority of independent directors. Our directors are elected annually through majority voting, which means our shareholders exercise considerable influence over Board composition. Abbott has established independence standards and governance guidelines, along with a published procedure enabling shareholders and others to communicate directly with Board members. The independent directors review the performance of our CEO annually. Among the criteria for Board members are a global business perspective and a commitment to global citizenship.
Abbott has a strong corporate governance profile:
- Eleven of the 12 Abbott directors are independent and elected annually.
- The Audit, Compensation, Nominations and Governance and Public Policy Committees are composed solely of independent directors.
- The chairman of the Nominations and Governance Committee acts as lead director to facilitate communication with the Board and to preside over regularly conducted executive sessions of the independent directors or sessions where the Chairman of the Board is not present. The lead director reviews and approves matters such as agenda items, schedule sufficiency and, where appropriate, information provided to other Board members.
- Directors and officers are subject to stock ownership guidelines.
- Abbott’s directors are elected annually through majority voting. Because of the majority vote requirement, shareholders exercise considerable influence over Board composition.
- Abbott has established independence standards, governance guidelines and a published procedure enabling shareholders and others to communicate directly with Board members.
- The Board and each of its committees have complete access to management and the authority to hire independent advisers as they deem appropriate.
- The independent directors review the performance of the CEO annually.
The following committees and working groups also play important roles in our governance process:
- Public Policy Committee – Comprised solely of independent directors, this committee’s charter includes the review and evaluation of Abbott’s policies and practices with respect to social responsibility.
- Business Conduct Committee – Comprised of business heads, this committee oversees implementation of our ethics and compliance programs.
- Executive Inclusion Council – Led by our Chairman and CEO, this council oversees our diversity and inclusion initiatives.
- Global Operations Council – This council sets and oversees progress on operating priorities, including environment, health and safety performance goals for Abbott around the world. The council includes senior level members from Purchasing and Engineering and is chaired by the Senior Vice President of Global Pharmaceutical Operations.
- Global Citizenship Working Group – This group improves transparency and reporting of our social, economic and environmental performance, and helps to embed citizenship commitments and strategy across our diverse operations and functions. Members include representatives from Corporate Strategy, Corporate Purchasing, Global Environment, Health and Safety, the Office of Ethics and Compliance, Quality and Regulatory Affairs, Human Resources, Investor Relations, Government Affairs and Commercial Operations.
- Global Citizenship and Policy Department – The primary catalyst in implementing our citizenship vision, this department chairs the Global Citizenship Working Group and reports to our Vice President for Investor Relations and Public Affairs, a corporate officer.
Note: All data in the Global Citizenship section reflects activities prior to the separation of Abbott and AbbVie on January 1, 2013.