Photographer: Alain Apaydin/Sipa USA via Getty Images

Burger King’s Shareholders Reject Pledge to Add Women to Board

Shareholders of Restaurant Brands International Inc., owner of Burger King and Tim Hortons, rejected a proposal that would require a clear plan to add women to the company’s all-male board.

OceanRock Investments Inc.’s motion was defeated at Thursday’s annual meeting in Oakville, Ontario, according to the Canadian Press. The Vancouver-based investor became a shareholder when Miami-based Burger King acquired the Canadian doughnut chain Tim Hortons in 2014 for about $11 billion. The combined company is based in Canada.

Before the tieup, Tim Hortons had three female directors. Having an all-male board is a stark contrast with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s pledge to ensure that half his cabinet members are women. Restaurant Brands has said that while it has already changed its guidelines to make diversity considerations more apparent, a specific pledge to add women might hamper the flexibility to pick the best candidates.

Restaurant Brands didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Shareholder motions regarding diversity rarely pass. Of all diversity-related proposals in Canada since 2014, the one that received the most support got only 12.6 percent of the vote, according to data from ISS Corporate Solutions.

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