Conducting a comprehensive review of CEO succession planning in 2016, which included a review of the process itself, as well as a review of the leadership skills and experience being sought and developed in candidates for the role of CEO.
In particular, the Board examined the manner in which competencies and skills should be evaluated on an ongoing basis and approved checkpoints against which to measure candidate progress. The Board also discussed the strengths and development opportunities of the current candidates for the role of CEO, as well as the strengths and development opportunities of the next generation of candidates.
Reframing our Board diversity objectives in February 2016 and expressing them in terms of a minimum percentage of both men and women. This reflects the principle that a board consisting entirely of women is no more diverse than a board consisting entirely of men. The Board also accelerated the target date for achieving a minimum 30% of each gender representing independent directors from 2019 to 2018.
TELUS’ diversity objective now states that diverse members will represent not less than 30 per cent of the Board’s independent members by May 2017, with a minimum of each gender representing 25 per cent of such members by May 2017, increasing to not less than 30 per cent of such members by 2018. Currently, diverse members (five directors) represent 42 per cent of the independent directors of the Board, and female members (three directors) represent 25 per cent of our independent directors.
Demonstrating our ongoing commitment to diversity and the implementation of our succession plan for our Board with the addition of one new director, David Mowat in May 2016 and two new directors,Claude Mongeau and Kathy Kinloch, who joined the Board in May 2017. All bring strategic expertise and significant operational experience in key markets.
The nomination of these three individuals over the past year aligns with the prioritized skills and attributes that the Corporate Governance Committee identified early in 2016, which include technology and/or industry knowledge, retail experience, geographic representation in Western Canada and Quebec, and gender diversity. The Corporate Governance Committee continues to review and assess the skills gaps and priorities of the Board when it assesses its list of director candidates.
Adopting a Board interlock policy stating that no more than two of our directors should serve on the same public company board or committee, unless otherwise agreed by the Board. In February 2016, the Board approved an amendment to this policy to clarify those factors the Corporate Governance Committee should consider in making a recommendation to permit additional interlocks. In considering whether or not to permit more than two directors to serve on the same board or committee, the Corporate Governance Committee will take into account all relevant considerations including, in particular, the total number of Board interlocks at that time and the strategic requirements of TELUS.
Continuing to facilitate regular communication and create an open and constructive dialogue with our shareholders pursuant to a shareholder engagement policy that was adopted in February 2015. This policy outlines how the Board may communicate with shareholders, how shareholders can communicate with the Board and the topics that are appropriate for the Board to address. It also provides an overview of how management interacts with shareholders.
In 2016, we participated in four TELUS-hosted conference calls with simultaneous webcasts, as well as numerous investor conferences and tours. TELUS executives also met with many institutional investors in Canada, the United States and Europe. Throughout the year, we respond to any shareholder concerns and letters we receive to our Board email inbox at email@example.com, which provides Shareholders and other stakeholders with a tool to communicate directly with the Board on appropriate topics between annual meetings.
Alternatively, Shareholders and other stakeholders can also communicate with the Board by mail, marking the envelope as confidential, to (c/o Chief Governance Officer) 7th Floor, 510 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6B 0M3. The Board strives to respond to all appropriate correspondence in a timely matter. On a quarterly basis, the Corporate Governance Committee considers all communications sent to the Board inbox and reviews and considers responses in relation to corporate governance matters. A copy of our shareholder engagement policy is available at telus.com/governance.
Continuing to issue our annual transparency disclosure, providing insight into our approach to responding to request for information about our customers from law enforcement agencies and other government organizations. Our transparency reporting is integrated into our annual sustainability report. Visit telus.com/about/sustainability.