This excerpt taken from the BAX DEF 14A filed Mar 18, 2009.
To be considered independent, the Board must affirmatively determine that a director does not have any direct or indirect material relationship with Baxter (either directly or as a partner, shareholder or officer of an organization that has a relationship with Baxter). Baxters Corporate Governance Guidelines require that the Board be composed of a majority of directors who meet the criteria for independence established by rules of the New York Stock Exchange.
In making its independence determinations, the Board considers transactions, relationships and arrangements between Baxter and entities with which directors are associated as executive officers, directors and trustees. When these transactions, relationships and arrangements exist, they are in the ordinary course of business and are of a type customary for a global diversified company such as Baxter. More specifically, with respect to each of the three most recent fiscal years, the Board evaluated for directors Fosler and Stroucken, the annual amount of purchases by Baxter from the company where he or she serves as an executive officer, and determined that the amount of purchases in each fiscal year was below two percent of the consolidated gross revenues of each of those companies during the companies last completed fiscal year.
Corporate Governance Guidelines
Baxters Board of Directors has long adhered to corporate governance principles designed to ensure effective corporate governance. Since 1995, the Board of Directors has had in place a set of corporate governance guidelines reflecting these principles. Baxters current Corporate Governance Guidelines cover topics including, but not limited to, director qualification standards, director responsibilities (including those of the lead director), director access to management and independent advisors, director compensation, director orientation and continuing education, succession planning and the annual evaluations of the Board and its committees. Baxters Corporate Governance Guidelines are available on Baxters website at www.baxter.com under Corporate Governance Guidelines and in print upon request by writing to: Corporate Secretary, Baxter International Inc., One Baxter Parkway, Deerfield, Illinois 60015.
Code of Conduct
Baxter has adopted a code of conduct that applies to all members of Baxters Board of Directors and all employees of the company, including the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Controller and other senior financial officers. Any amendment to, or waiver from, a provision of the Code of Conduct that applies to Baxters Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Controller or persons performing similar functions will be disclosed on the companys website, at www.baxter.com under Corporate Governance. The Code of Conduct is available on Baxters website at www.baxter.com under Corporate Governance Ethics & Compliance and in print upon request by writing to: Ethics & Compliance, Baxter International Inc., One Baxter Parkway, Deerfield, Illinois 60015.
The non-employee directors of the Board met in executive session without management at every regularly scheduled meeting during 2008 pursuant to Baxters Corporate Governance Guidelines. The Audit Committee is required by its charter to hold separate sessions during at least five committee meetings with each of the internal auditor, the independent registered public accounting firm and management. The Corporate Governance and Compensation Committees also meet in executive session as deemed appropriate.
Baxters lead director is currently Walter E. Boomer. Pursuant to Baxters Corporate Governance Guidelines, General Boomer presides at all executive sessions of the Board and acts as the liaison between the non-management directors and the Chairman of the Board. In addition, the lead director serves as the contact person to facilitate communications by Baxter employees and shareholders directly with the non-management members of the Board. The Corporate Governance Committee recommends a lead director to the full Board for approval on an annual basis.
Communicating with the Board of Directors
Shareholders and other interested parties may contact any of Baxters directors, including the lead director or the non-management directors as a group, by writing a letter to Baxter Director c/o Corporate Secretary, Baxter International Inc., One Baxter Parkway, Deerfield, Illinois 60015 or by sending an e-mail to email@example.com. Baxters Corporate Secretary will forward communications directly to the lead director, unless a different director is specified.
Nomination of Directors
It is the policy of the Corporate Governance Committee to consider candidates for director recommended by shareholders, members of the Board and management. The Corporate Governance Committee also considers directors recommended by the independent search firm retained by the Board to help identify and evaluate potential director nominees. The Corporate Governance Committee evaluates all candidates for director in the same manner regardless of the source of the recommendation. Shareholder recommendations for candidates for director should include the information required by Baxters Bylaws and be sent to the Corporate Governance Committee, c/o Corporate Secretary, Baxter International Inc., One Baxter Parkway, Deerfield, Illinois 60015.
Pursuant to Baxters Corporate Governance Guidelines, nominees for director must:
The Corporate Governance Guidelines also provide that directors are selected on the basis of talent and experience. Diversity of background, including diversity of gender, race, ethnic or national origin, age, and
experience in business, government and education and in healthcare, science, technology and other areas relevant to the companys activities are factors in the selection process. As a majority of the Board must consist of individuals who are independent, a nominees ability to meet the independence criteria established by the New York Stock Exchange is also a factor in the nominee selection process.
Once a candidate has been identified, the Corporate Governance Committee may collect and review publicly available information regarding the person to assess whether the person should be considered further. If the Corporate Governance Committee or its Chair determines that the candidate warrants further consideration, the Corporate Governance Committee and the external search firm retained by the Committee will engage in a process that includes a thorough investigation of the candidate, an examination of his or her business background and education, research on the individuals accomplishments and qualifications, an in-person interview and reference checking. If this process generates a positive indication, the lead director, the members of the Committee and the Chairman of the Board will meet separately with the candidate and then confer with each other regarding their respective impressions of the candidate. If the individual was positively received, the Committee will then recommend the individual to the full Board for election. If the full Board agrees, the Chairman of the Board is then authorized to extend an offer to the individual candidate.
Baxters Stock Ownership Guidelines for Executive Officers and Directors
Baxters stock ownership guidelines provide that the Chief Executive Officer is required to achieve ownership of Baxter common stock valued at six times annual base salary and each of the other executive officers is required to achieve ownership of Baxter common stock valued at four times annual base salary, in each case within five years of becoming an executive officer. As of December 31, 2008, each named executive officer has satisfied his or her stock ownership requirement, except for Mr. Davis who was appointed to his position in May 2006 and is expected to meet his stock ownership requirement within the applicable five-year period.
Baxters Corporate Governance Guidelines require that after five years of Board service, each director is to hold common stock equal to five times the annual cash retainer provided to directors. As of December 31, 2008, all of Baxters directors hold at least the required amount of common stock, except for Dr. Hockmeyer who was elected to the Board in September 2007 and is expected to satisfy the stock ownership requirement within the applicable five-year period.
This excerpt taken from the BAX DEF 14A filed Mar 21, 2005.
The Board of Directors recognizes the importance of good corporate governance as a means of addressing the needs of Baxters stockholders, employees, customers and community. Pursuant to the Delaware General Corporation Law, under which Baxter is organized, the business, property and affairs of Baxter are managed under the direction of the Board of Directors. Members of the Board are kept informed of Baxters business through discussions with the Chairman and management, by reviewing materials prepared for them by management and by participating in meetings of the Board and its committees. During 2004, the Board held 11 meetings and the Board committees held a total of 35 meetings. During the period for which they served in 2004, each incumbent director attended at least 89 percent of the aggregate number of Board meetings and Board committee meetings for committees on which they served. The average attendance of these directors at all such meetings during the year was over 95 percent. Baxters Corporate Governance Guidelines, which are described below, provide that directors are expected to attend the annual meeting of stockholders. In May 2004, nine out of the ten directors then continuing in office attended the annual meeting of stockholders.