Goyder ‘has been good for Woodside’, retail shareholders say

Matt Mckenzie
The Nightly
2 Min Read
Woodside Energy chairman Richard Goyder has been forced to defend his position.
Woodside Energy chairman Richard Goyder has been forced to defend his position. Credit: Dylan Burns/AFL Photos/Getty Images

The Australian Shareholders Association has backed in Woodside chair Richard Goyder as he fights off an onslaught from a key proxy advisory and activist investors.

Proxy firm CGI Class Lewis told investors to boot Mr Goyder off the board at an upcoming meeting amid concerns over Woodside’s responsiveness to climate concerns.

But the non-profit ASA — which advocates for retail shareholders — on Thursday said Mr Goyder “has been good for Woodside”.

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ASA pointed to the appointment of Meg O’Neill as “a new and very good” chief executive in 2021 and moves to improve corporate governance.

He also played a leading role in the $40bn merger with BHP’s petroleum division and puts Woodside’s climate plan up to a regular vote, ASA said in a report to members.

“We believe that the opposition to his re-election is not in the best interests of shareholders,” the report said.

On climate, ASA said action was a key element of executive remuneration plans, at 15 per cent of the scorecard.

But ASA did flag a warning on safety after the tragic death of contractor Michael Jurman on the North Rankin platform in June 2023.

Woodside has argued shareholder dissent against Mr Goyder was limited to just 0.003 per cent of the register.

The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility — which has been leading the public criticism of the Woodside chair — argued a series of recent votes point to wider dissatisfaction with Woodside on climate.

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