DoorDash Quietly Added Woman to All-Male Board Ahead of IPO
(Bloomberg) -- Before DoorDash Inc. filed to go public, its board of directors first needed a change.
The food delivery company with a historically all-male board of directors announced on Thursday that it filed for an initial public offering, the same day a new study found women are increasingly winning seats on the boards of top IPOs. DoorDash had eight men on its board of directors before August, when it added a woman without fanfare.
The addition of Google alumna Shona Brown to its board wasn’t announced by DoorDash for another five months. DoorDash told CNBC about Brown’s addition in January, according to spokesperson Liz Jarvis-Shean. The disclosure came on the same day that Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer David Solomon said his bank will no longer take a company public if it lacks a director who adds to the board’s diversity. Goldman is underwriting the DoorDash IPO, sources told Dow Jones on Thursday.
Brown’s addition to the board preempted any request from Goldman Sachs, a person familiar with the matter said, while also satisfying a California rule that can impose a $100,000 fine on public companies with all-male boards.
Growing pressure from banks and investors who shun companies led entirely by men made it almost inevitable that DoorDash would find a female director at some point before going public, according to an analyst who specializes in IPOs.
“They want to get public and get done, that is an easy obstacle to remove,” Triton Research CEO Rett Wallace said. “Why have anyone not buy the stock on an insubstantial basis like that? It’s an unforced error.”
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