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NEWS from the Office of the New York State Comptroller
Contact: Press Office 518-474-4015

NYS Comptroller DiNapoli on Amazon's Racial Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Practices

Shareholders to Vote on NY State Pension Fund’s Call for an Independent Audit of Amazon’s Racial Equity Policies at Annual Meeting on Wednesday

May 25, 2021

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli released the following statement today in advance of Amazon’s Annual Meeting on Wednesday, May 26, 2021, at 9:00 a.m., Pacific Time. DiNapoli and the New York State Common Retirement Fund have urged shareholders to support a resolution calling on Amazon to conduct an independent racial equity audit of its practices and policies related to civil rights, equity, diversity and inclusion, and how they affect the company’s business, in light of the significant controversies and lawsuits leveled at the company.

“We believe our portfolio companies must ensure that they are meaningfully addressing issues of racial injustice. Despite committing its support to the national movement addressing racial inequity and discrimination, one year after the murder of George Floyd, Amazon continues to find itself accused of practices and policies that foster inequality. Investors are right to question whether Amazon has lived up to its promises, and it is our responsibility to encourage Amazon to take the necessary steps to look inward and ensure that it is effectively addressing inequities and protecting the company’s long-term success.

“Jeff Bezos has been an outspoken advocate in the fight against systemic racism. I believe he deeply cares about these issues and understands how they impact Amazon, the economy, and our country as a whole. That’s why Amazon’s opposition to our proposal is so concerning. Mr. Bezos and Amazon should be championing action on these issues and taking every opportunity to root out any shortcomings on diversity, equity and inclusion.

“We want Amazon to continue to prosper over the long term. Accomplishing that requires addressing the challenges that could risk the company’s present profitability. My hope is that fellow shareholders agree and support our request. Doing so can only benefit Amazon and its investors because companies that embrace equity and inclusion outperform those that do not. In the ethos of Mr. Bezos, Amazon should strive to be the “Earth’s Most Equal Company” and ensure an equitable and nondiscriminatory experience for all of its employees, customers and stakeholders.”

Statement to Amazon Investors
DiNapoli’s Message to Investors on the Fund’s Amazon Shareholder Proposal

Securities and Exchange Commission Filing
The Fund’s notification to the SEC of its intent to urge investors to vote in favor of its proposal

About the New York State Common Retirement Fund

The New York State Common Retirement Fund is the third largest public pension fund in the United States with estimated assets of $247.7 billion as of Dec. 31, 2020. The Fund holds and invests the assets of the New York State and Local Retirement System on behalf of more than one million state and local government employees and retirees and their beneficiaries. The Fund has consistently been ranked as one of the best managed and best funded plans in the nation. The Fund's fiscal year ends March 31.