August 29, 2007
Contact: Jack Ucciferri
(707) 257-7923 Fax
(707) 252-6166 Voice
Harrington Investments Divests From GlaxoSmithKline
Cites Litany of Concerns
Napa, CA – Harrington Investments, Inc. (HII), a socially responsible investment (SRI) advisory firm, announced today that it has divested from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) stock.
“In accordance with our long term investment management style, we would prefer to remain invested in GSK,” said John Harrington, President and CEO of Harrington Investments. “However, we have a fiduciary duty to our clients that includes a comprehensive review of a corporation’s overall operations and reputation.”
In a letter to GlaxoSmithKline CEO, Jean-Pierre Garnier, Harrington listed six points of concern with the company, including investigations for shady business dealings with Saddam Hussein, improper marketing of anti-depressants, and tax avoidance.
The letter also cited GSK’s inability to address the concerns of animal rights activists and its resistance to providing affordable AIDS drugs to developing countries.
The list concludes: “On a lighter note, we are bemused that GSK – one of the largest drug makers in the world – was recently ‘busted’ by two 14-year-old schoolgirls for wildly exaggerating the quantity of vitamin C present in a popular children’s fruit drink! Unfortunately, however, this action on the part of GSK continues to undermine your company’s reputation and your management’s credibility.”
Like many SRI firms, HII proactively avoids, or ‘screens out,’ stocks of corporations with significant negative environmental, social, and/or corporate governance (ESG) issues. Once it decides to purchase shares in a company, HII generally tries to work with corporate management to improve ESG performance.
HII’s divestiture of GSK stock is a reaction to corporate management’s consistent failure to address important investor fiduciary concerns.
Research and Advocacy Director (RAD)
Harrington Investments, Inc.