Media release

Proxy adviser calls time on Woodside Chair, Richard Goyder

The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility​ (ACCR) is commenting on media reports that proxy adviser CGI Glass Lewis has recommended against the re-election of Woodside Chair, Richard Goyder, along with recommending against the company’s Climate Transition Action Plan (CTAP), in advance of the Woodside’s AGM, which will be held on 24 April 2024.

Last month ACCR filed a members statement against the re-election of Mr Goyder at the upcoming AGM.

Commenting on these developments Brynn O’Brien, Executive Director (ACCR) said:

“Woodside chairman Richard Goyder is personally facing the prospect of a shareholder revolt over his board’s chronic unresponsiveness to investor concerns about the company’s management of climate risk under his helm.

“It is a world first for an incumbent chair of a major oil and gas company to face the threat of being held personally accountable for company climate failings.

“As highlighted in ACCR’s members’ statement, as Chair, Richard Goyder carries ultimate responsibility for the company’s systemic failings on climate governance and therefore it is Goyder who investors should hold to account.

“We are unsurprised that CGI Glass Lewis has also recommended a vote against Woodside’s climate plan. Despite four years of persistent investor feedback Woodside has once again failed to bring anything of substance to the table.

“While Woodside may argue it has made further disclosures to address 17 areas of investor feedback, it has somehow still managed to present a materially unchanged climate plan.

“Woodside persists in a determination to bet shareholder money against the energy transition, without any sign it has a serious Plan B.

“Mr Goyder has this week claimed that the board “believes” Woodside’s plan is Paris-aligned. If this is true, the board’s belief goes against every credible scientific assessment - it is just nonsense, and extremely concerning for shareholders.

“Holding boards accountable is the natural escalation pathway under the global Say on Climate mechanism, in the face of repeated failures to present a credible plan.”

Our work