Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel was hammered with questions about its political donations to MN Forward on Wednesday and its support of an amendment banning same-sex marriage in Minnesota at the company's annual meeting in Pittsburgh, Reuters reports:
Bill de Blasio, New York City public advocate and trustee of the New York City employees retirement system, which holds about $50 million in Target shares, said on Tuesday that he is "deeply concerned" when he sees those pension investments used unwisely.
A number of shareholders at Wednesday's meeting echoed his comments, repeatedly asking Steinhafel about the donation. Target has changed its review process for donations since the MN Forward donation, but some shareholders would like to see a more explicit apology and broader change from the company.
"Last year was a great learning experience for us," Steinhafel said as he repeatedly suggested moving onto a different topic.
"Does anybody have a question relating to our business that is unrelated to political giving? I would love to hear any question related to something else," Steinhafel said.
When asked specifically about the marriage amendment, Steinhafel said, "Our position at this particular time is that we are going to be neutral on that particular issue, as we would be on other social issues that have polarizing points of view…We're a retail store, we welcome everybody…We have a broad team-member base, every shape and size and color. And so we are a very inclusive organization…We're going to continue to monitor, we're going to continue to assess, and see how that develops."