Director Independence Standards
The Board of Directors of The Sherwin-Williams Company has adopted the following Director Independence Standards to assist the Board in determining the independence of a director. To be considered “independent,” the Board must affirmatively determine that the director has no material relationship with Sherwin-Williams (either directly or as a partner, shareholder or officer of an organization that has a relationship with Sherwin-Williams). In each case, the Board shall broadly consider all relevant facts and circumstances, including the director's commercial, industrial, banking, consulting, legal, accounting, charitable and familial relationships. The Board shall also consider such other criteria as the Board may determine from time to time.
- In no event will a director be considered “independent” if such director fails to qualify as an “independent director” under Rule 303A.02(b) of the New York Stock Exchange Listed Company Manual. In addition, a director will not be independent if: (i) the director is, or has been within the last three years, an employee of Sherwin-Williams; (ii) an immediate family member of the director is, or has been within the last three years, an executive officer of Sherwin-Williams; (iii) the director has received, or an immediate family member of the director has received, during any twelve-month period within the last three years, more than $120,000 in direct compensation from Sherwin-Williams, other than director and committee fees and pension or other forms of deferred compensation for prior service (provided such compensation is not contingent in any way on continued service); (iv) the director is a current partner or employee of Sherwin-Williams’ independent auditor, or an immediate family member of the director is a current partner of Sherwin-Williams’ independent auditor; (v) an immediate family member of the director is a current employee of Sherwin-Williams’ independent auditor and personally works on Sherwin-Williams’ audit, or the director or an immediate family member of the director was within the last three years a partner or employee of Sherwin-Williams’ independent auditor and personally worked on Sherwin-Williams’ audit within that time; or (vi) the director or an immediate family member of the director is, or has been within the last three years, employed as an executive officer of another company where any of Sherwin-Williams’ present executive officers at the same time serves or served on that company’s compensation committee.
- In addition to the relationships described in paragraph 1, Audit Committee members may not (i) directly or indirectly accept any consulting, advisory or other compensatory fee from Sherwin-Williams or any of its subsidiaries or (ii) be an affiliated person of Sherwin-Williams or any of its subsidiaries. Audit Committee members may receive directors’ fees, in the form of cash, stock, stock units, stock options or other consideration ordinarily available to directors, as well as regular benefits that other directors receive.
- In addition to the relationships described in paragraph 1, in affirmatively determining the independence of any director who will serve on the Compensation and Management Development Committee, the Board must consider all factors specifically relevant to determining whether a director has a relationship to Sherwin-Williams which is material to that director's ability to be independent from management in connection with the duties of a Compensation and Management Development Committee member, including, but not limited to: (i) the source of compensation of such director, including any consulting, advisory or other compensatory fee paid by Sherwin-Williams to such director; and (ii) whether such director is affiliated with Sherwin-Williams, a subsidiary of Sherwin-Williams or an affiliate of a subsidiary of Sherwin-Williams.
- The following relationships will not be considered to be material relationships that would impair a director’s independence: (i) if the director is a current employee, or an immediate family member of the director is a current executive officer, of another company that, has made payments to, or received payments from, Sherwin-Williams for property or services in an amount which, in any of the last three fiscal years, is less than $1 million or two percent, whichever is greater, of such other company’s annual consolidated gross revenues; (ii) if the director, or an immediate family member of the director, is an executive officer of another company which is indebted to Sherwin-Williams, or to which Sherwin-Williams is indebted, in an amount which is less than five percent of such other company's total consolidated assets; (iii) if the director, or an immediate family member of the director, serves as an officer, director or trustee of a foundation, university, charitable or other not for profit organization, and Sherwin-Williams’ or Sherwin-Williams’ Foundation’s discretionary charitable contributions (Sherwin-Williams’ Foundation matching of employee charitable contributions will not be included in the amount of the Foundation’s contributions for this purpose) to the organization, in the aggregate, are less than $500,000 or five percent, whichever is greater, of that organization’s latest publicly available annual consolidated gross revenues; (iv) if the director serves as a director or executive officer of another company that also uses Sherwin-Williams’ independent auditor; (v) if the director is a member of, or associated with, the same professional association, or social, educational, civic, charitable, fraternal or religious organization or club as another Sherwin-Williams director or executive officer; or (vi) if the director serves on the board of directors of another company at which another Sherwin-Williams director or executive officer also serves on the board of directors (except as set forth in paragraph 1 above regarding compensation committee interlocks).
- For relationships not covered by the categorical standards in paragraphs 1 and 4, the determination of whether the relationship is material or not, and therefore whether the director would be independent or not, shall be made by the directors who satisfy the standards set forth in paragraphs 1 and 4. Sherwin-Williams will explain in its next proxy statement the basis for any Board determination that a relationship is immaterial despite the fact that it does not meet the categorical standards set forth in paragraphs 1 and/or 4 above.
- The Board shall undertake an annual review of the independence of all directors. In advance of the meeting at which this review occurs, each director shall be asked to provide the Board with full information regarding the director’s (including immediate family members’) business, charitable and other relationships with Sherwin-Williams to enable the Board to evaluate the director’s independence.
- Directors have an affirmative obligation to inform the Board of any material changes in their circumstances or relationships that may impact their designation by the Board as “independent.” This obligation includes all business, charitable and other relationships between directors (including immediate family members) and Sherwin-Williams and its affiliates.
For purposes of these Director Independence Standards, “immediate family member” includes a person’s spouse, parents, children, siblings, mothers and fathers-in-law, sons and daughters-in-law, brothers and sisters-in-law, and anyone (other than domestic employees) who shares such person’s home.