Boston, MA // January 22, 2018 – Trillium Asset Management commends Dentsply Sirona (NASDAQ: XRAY), a dental equipment and supply company, for appointing Leslie Varon and Betsy Holden as the first women to serve on the recently merged company’s Board of directors. Ms. Varon has served in several senior roles at Xerox and brings extensive experience in financial management and investor relations to the company. Ms. Holden, former Co-CEO of Kraft Foods and current senior advisor to McKinsey & Company, brings a deep skill set in strategy, marketing, and board effectiveness initiatives.
In December 2016, Trillium and several investor partners* filed a Board Diversity shareholder proposal out of concern that the all-male board created when Dentsply and Sirona merged in early 2016 was out of step with good governance practice and a laggard among peers. Following a series of dialogues, the Board approved revisions to its corporate governance guidelines, committing the company to ensure diverse candidates, inclusive of gender, race and ethnicity are in each pool of candidates from which Board nominees are chosen. Trillium and the co-filers successfully withdrew the shareholder proposal in February 2017.
Research identifies business benefits associated with board diversity, including better collective decision making, a stronger mix of leadership skills, and improved risk management. We applaud Dentsply Sirona’s Board for effectively implementing its revised governance guidelines and appointing Ms. Varon and Ms. Holden. In recognizing diversity as an equity and economic issue, we will continue to urge the company to actively seek out diverse candidates in future board nominee searches.
*Calvert Investments, New York State Common Retirement Fund, Portico Benefit Services and Sonen Capital.
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