ZURICH, April 20 (Reuters) - Three shareholder advisory firms oppose plans by ABB to appoint Frederico Fleury Curado to its board, saying his existing positions at listed companies would leave him too little time to devote to the Swiss engineer.
Curado, chief executive officer at Brazilian planemaker Embraer, has been nominated to join ABB’s board at its annual general meeting on Thursday.
ABB said it was committed to Curado as a candidate.
The 54-year-old Brazilian is already on the boards of U.S.-listed offshore oil driller Transocean and Iochpe Maxion, a Brazil-based automobile industry supplier.
Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), Ethos and Glass Lewis, which provide corporate governance research and proxy voting services to institutional investors, all say Curado would be stretched too thin if he joins ABB’s board, according to recommendations obtained by Reuters.
“He is the chief executive of a publicly listed company and would hold an excessive number of outside board directorships as a result of his election to the ABB board,” ISS, the largest proxy adviser, wrote in its recommendation to shareholders.
ABB reported on Tuesday that first-quarter net profit fell 11 percent to $500 million.
ABB said Curado was “committed to ABB” and had pledged to reduce his workload at other companies to ensure he has enough time to devote to the Swiss maker of transformers, power cables and factory robots.
ABB said Curado’s background in the aviation industry and focus on manufacturing processes, in addition to his origins in Latin America where ABB is seeking to expand, made him an ideal candidate.
A previous Brazilian national on ABB’s board, banker-turned -mining executive Roger Agnelli, died in March in a plane crash with his wife, two children and three others. (Editing by Mark Potter)