The primary purpose of the Audit Committee (the “Committee”) of Hasbro, Inc. (the “Company”) is to (a) appoint the independent auditor and oversee the independent auditor’s work, (b) prepare the report required to be included in the Company’s annual proxy statement by the rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission and (c) assist the Board of Directors (the “Board”) of the Company in its oversight of (i) the integrity of the Company's financial statements, (ii) the Company's compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, (iii) the independent auditor's qualifications and independence, and (iv) the performance of the Company's internal audit function and independent auditor.
In discharging its oversight role, the Committee is empowered to investigate any matter with full access to all books, records, facilities and personnel of the Company and the power to retain outside counsel, auditors or other experts for this purpose. The Board and the Committee are in place to represent the Company’s shareholders; accordingly, the independent auditor is ultimately accountable to the Board and the Committee.
The Committee shall review and reassess the adequacy of this Charter on an annual basis.
The Committee shall be comprised of not less than three members of the Board, and the Committee’s composition will meet the requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (the “Act”) and The NASDAQ Stock Market.
Accordingly, all of the members of the Committee will be directors:
Committee members shall be appointed and removed by the Board, which shall designate the Committee Chair, who shall preside over meetings of the Committee. A majority of the members of the Committee shall constitute a quorum for doing business. All actions of the Committee shall be taken by a majority vote of the members of the Committee present at the meeting, provided a quorum is present.
The Committee shall hold regularly scheduled meetings and such special meetings as circumstances dictate. It shall meet separately, at least quarterly, with management, the head of the Company’s Internal Audit department, and the independent auditor to discuss any matters that the Committee or any of these persons or firms believe should be discussed privately. The Committee shall report regularly to the Board.
The Committee’s job is one of oversight and it recognizes that the Company’s management is responsible for preparing the Company’s financial statements and that the independent auditors are responsible for auditing those financial statements. Additionally, the Committee recognizes that the Company’s management, as well as the independent auditors, have more time, knowledge and more detailed information with respect to the Company than do Committee members; consequently, in carrying out its oversight responsibilities, the Committee is not providing any expert or special assurances as to the Company’s financial statements or any professional certification as to the independent auditor’s work.
While the Committee has the responsibilities set forth in this Charter, it is not the responsibility of the Committee to plan or conduct audits or to determine that the Company's financial statements are complete and accurate and are in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.
The Committee has direct and sole responsibility for the appointment, compensation, retention, oversight and replacement, if necessary, of the independent auditor, including the resolution of disagreements between management and the independent auditor regarding financial reporting, and the independent auditor is ultimately accountable to the Board and to the Committee, acting as a committee of the Board. Each member of the Committee shall be entitled to rely on (i) the integrity of those persons and organizations within and outside the Company that it receives information from and (ii) the accuracy of the financial and other information provided to the Committee by such persons or organizations absent actual knowledge to the contrary (which shall be promptly reported to the Board). The Committee has the authority to retain legal, accounting or other experts that it determines to be necessary to carry out its duties. It also has authority to determine compensation for such advisors, as well as for the independent auditor.
The following functions shall be the common recurring activities of the Committee in carrying out its oversight function. These functions are set forth as a guide with the understanding that the Committee may diverge from this guide as appropriate, and as allowed by applicable legal and stock exchange requirements, given the circumstances.
Oversight of Independent Auditor
Oversight of Audit Process and Company’s Legal Compliance
The Committee shall also perform any other activities consistent with the Articles of Incorporation and By-laws of the Company, and other governing laws, as the Board or the Committee shall deem appropriate.
Tracy A. Leinbach served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Ryder System, Inc. (a global logistics and transportation and supply chain solutions provider) from 2003 until 2006. Prior thereto, Ms. Leinbach served as Executive Vice President, Fleet Management Solutions for Ryder since 2001. She is a director of Forward Air Corporation. Ms. Leinbach has been a director of the Company since 2008.
The Board has nominated Ms. Leinbach for election as a director because of her extensive business experience in corporate finance and global operations, auditing and accounting. Ms. Leinbach held a number of positions involving increasing global operating and global financial management, responsibility and oversight, as well as global supply chain management, with Ryder, spanning a career with Ryder of over 21 years. Her time with Ryder included service as controller and chief financial officer at many of Ryder’s subsidiaries and divisions. Ms. Leinbach’s career with Ryder culminated in her service as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Prior to her career with Ryder, Ms. Leinbach worked for Price Waterhouse in public accounting and was a CPA. The Board believes Ms. Leinbach possesses particular knowledge, expertise and perspectives in corporate finance; operations, sales and logistics; and in strategic planning and risk management; expertise in issues regarding the management of a multinational corporation; and expertise regarding financial reporting and accounting issues for large public companies. The Board has determined that Ms. Leinbach qualifies as an Audit Committee Financial Expert due to her prior experience, including as the Chief Financial Officer of a public company (Ryder System, Inc.).
Alan R. Batkin is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Converse Associates, Inc. (a strategic advisory firm). From 2007 to 2012, he was the Vice Chairman of Eton Park Capital Management, L.P. (global, multi-disciplinary investment firm). Prior thereto, he was the Vice Chairman of Kissinger Associates, Inc. (strategic consulting firm) from 1990 until 2006. He is a director of Cantel Medical Corp., Pattern Energy Group, Inc. and Omnicom Group, Inc. Mr. Batkin served on the Board of Overseas Shipholding Group, Inc. from 1999 to 2012. Mr. Batkin has been a director of the Company since 1992.
The Board has nominated Mr. Batkin for election as a director because of his more than 40 years of business experience and financial expertise spanning his work in public accounting as a CPA, investment banking and international strategic consulting. Mr. Batkin has extensive experience advising multinational companies on global business and political issues, and he has served as a director for numerous public companies. The Board believes Mr. Batkin possesses expertise in corporate finance and asset management; expertise in strategic planning and international business operations; particular knowledge, expertise and perspective regarding financial reporting and accounting matters for multinational public companies; and expertise in corporate governance and board and committee best practices.
Michael W.O. Garrett served in a number of positions with Nestlé S.A. (international food and beverage company), most recently as Executive Vice President of Nestlé S.A. responsible for Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Oceania until 2005. He serves as a board member of the Nestlé Company in India and non-executive director on the boards of Gottex Fund Management Holdings Ltd. and the Bobst Group in Switzerland. From 2004 to 2013 Mr. Garrett served on the Board of Prudential PLC, UK. Mr. Garrett has been a director of the Company since 2005.
The Board has nominated Mr. Garrett for election as a director because of his more than 40 years of experience with Nestlé S.A., which involved service in operating and executive positions of increasing responsibility, including management of large international operations and responsibility for developing and managing businesses in new and emerging markets in many global regions, including Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. Mr. Garrett also has extensive experience serving on the boards of large multinational companies. The Board believes Mr. Garrett possesses particular knowledge, expertise and perspectives regarding international business operations and expansion, including operations in new and emerging markets; corporate finance and international operating and tax matters; organizational issues involving large, multinational consumer-focused companies; strategic planning expertise; and expertise in board and committee best practices.
Lisa Gersh is currently CEO of Goop, a lifestyle website founded by actress Gwyneth Paltrow. Prior to joining Goop, Gersh served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (integrated media and merchandising company) until 2013. Before being named CEO, Lisa served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. from 2011 to 2012. She served as President, Strategic Initiatives at NBC News, an operating subsidiary of NBC Universal from 2007 until January 2011. Ms. Gersh also served as General Managing Director of the Weather Channel companies for NBC Universal from 2007 until 2009. Prior thereto, she was a co-founder and the President and Chief Operating Officer of Oxygen Media from 1998 until 2007, when it was acquired by NBC News.
Ms. Gersh served as a director of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. from 2011 to 2013 and served on the board of directors of The Knot, Inc. (now XO Group Inc.) from 2005 until 2010. Ms. Gersh has been a director of the Company since 2010.
Richard S. Stoddart is the Chief Executive Officer of Leo Burnett North America, serving in his role since 2013. Mr. Stoddart served as President of Leo Burnett North America from 2005 to 2013. Prior thereto, he was Manager of Marketing Communications of Ford Motor Company from 2001 to 2005. Mr. Stoddart has been a director of the Company since March 2014.
The Board appointed Mr. Stoddart in March 2014 and has nominated Mr. Stoddart for re-election as a director at the Annual Meeting because of his extensive experience in the advertising, marketing and communications industries, including in television, digital and social media and in print. As the Chief Executive Officer of one of the largest advertising agencies in North America, Mr. Stoddart is recognized for his leadership in the development and integration of shopper, digital, social and mobile capabilities as part of a company’s overall marketing and brand strategy. The Board believes Mr. Stoddart possesses particular knowledge, expertise and perspectives regarding branding and brand building, marketing strategy and marketing communications, including in traditional advertising, digital advertising and social media; expertise in media planning, launching branded content and products; and expertise in media trends and strategic planning.
Linda Zecher is President and Chief Executive Officer of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Company, serving in her role since 2011. In this role, Ms. Zecher is leading HMH’s transformation to a digitally-focused learning and content media company. Through a successful financial restructure and completing a series of acquisitions and mergers Ms. Zecher has been effective in strengthening the company’s competitive position in the education technology and consumer education market.
Prior to joining Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Ms. Zecher served as Corporate Vice President, Worldwide Public Sector at Microsoft from 2009 to 2011. Ms. Zecher joined Microsoft in 2003, and successfully led the U.S and Asia Pacific public sector businesses before taking over the worldwide organization in 2009. Before joining Microsoft, Ms. Zecher was CEO at Evolve Corporation. Prior to Evolve Corp., she was Sr. VP of Application Suites at Oracle Corporation. She began her career as a geophysicist at Texas Instruments.
Currently, Ms. Zecher serves on the Board of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Company.