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 and Veritiv 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 global operations, strategic and financial planning, 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. During her career she lead the company’s largest business unit in the U.S., as well as units in Europe, Mexico and Canada. In addition to extensive operating experience, 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 experience in strategic planning, management, operations, logistics and risk management for a large multinational company; corporate finance; sales; and expertise in issues 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 R. Burns is the Vice Chairman and a member of the Board of directors of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., serving in this role since 2000. From 1991 to 2000, he was the Managing Director and Head of the Los Angeles Investment Banking Office of Prudential Securities Inc. Mr. Burns has been a director of the Company since 2014.
The Board has nominated Mr. Burns for election as a director because of his extensive knowledge and experience in content development and brand building, including in the use of creative storytelling across platforms global entertainment franchises; in the entertainment industries, including operating and financial expertise in to build motion picture development, financing, marketing and monetization; expertise in strategic planning for, investing in and building content and entertainment-driven multi-platform businesses; experience in global media distribution; expertise in investment banking and corporate finance; and expertise in international business.
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 has nominated Mr. Stoddart for election as a director because of his extensive experience in the advertising, marketing and communications industries, including in television, digital, social media and in print, and in building global brands and businesses. As the Chief Executive Officer of one of the largest advertising agencies, 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 knowledge, expertise and experience regarding branding and brand building, marketing strategy and marketing communications across media platforms, 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 for businesses building global content-driven brands.
Linda K. Zecher is the President and Chief Executive Officer, and a member of the Board of directors, of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Company, serving in those roles since 2011. Prior thereto, she was Corporate Vice President, Worldwide Public Sector of Microsoft Corporation from 2003 to 2011. Ms. Zecher has been a director of the Company since 2014.
The Board has nominated Ms. Zecher for election as a director because of her extensive experience in leading the transformation of businesses in the fields of digital publishing, digital learning, and online sales and marketing, as well as her expertise and skill in driving technological innovation and in leading content development and distribution across channels and platforms. The Board believes Ms. Zecher possesses knowledge, expertise and experience in unified analog and digital content development and distribution, in strategic planning and execution for businesses focused on global cross-platform content development and delivery, and expertise in digital brand building, online business development and in driving technological innovation. Vote