Urban Outfitters’ choice for its first female board member is raising some eyebrows.
Margaret Hayne, wife of CEO Richard Hayne, is joining the hipster brand’s board, reports Gretchen Morgenson at The New York Times.
The company had been criticised by investors for not being diverse enough, according to Morgenson.
New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli told the Times that the appointment of Hayne’s wife doesn’t solve the diversity problem on boards.
“To nominate someone who is also a long-term employee, an insider and married to the CEO and chairman doesn’t pass the smell test of really trying to find someone that adds to diversity and is going to be an independent voice,” DiNapoli said.
Sapna Maheshwari at Buzzfeed points out that Margaret, who is president of Urban Outfitters’ sister store Free People, makes $451,038 a year.
“The fact that the first female ever to be named to the board of Urban Outfitters was chief executive Richard Hayne’s wife should not be shocking at all,” Maheshwari writes. “The free-spirited hipster clothing company has been quietly run like a family commune for years.”
Their son David is also an executive at the brand, and makes $414,912 annually, according to Maheshwari.
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