Updated as of July 15, 2021
At Verisign, we take seriously our responsibility to be a good corporate citizen and to support the communities where we live and work. As stewards of the internet, we believe our corporate values are central to our role in helping preserve and enhance the security, stability, and resiliency of key internet infrastructure and services, which billions of people worldwide depend on every second of every day. These values include demonstrating respect and integrity in our interactions with all of our stakeholders. The following summary highlights some of our environmental, social and governance policies and practices.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
- In 2020, we revised our Corporate Governance Principles to adopt the “Rooney Rule” so that (i) the pool of candidates from which the Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee recommends new director nominees includes female and racially/ethnically diverse candidates and (ii) in any searches for candidates from outside the Company to succeed the Chief Executive Officer, the pool from which the Board selects a candidate includes female and racially/ethnically diverse candidates.
- We maintain equal employment opportunity hiring policies and practices.
- We continue to focus on the hiring, retention, and advancement of women and underrepresented populations. As of December 31, 2020, approximately 29% of our global workforce was female, and approximately 43% of our U.S. employees were ethnically and racially diverse.
- We have employee affinity groups such as Women in Technology and Young Professionals that support an inclusive workplace environment.
- We provide respectful and inclusive workplace training for employees across all levels.
Human Capital Management
- We are committed to attracting, developing, and retaining the best talent, and we routinely monitor and present our progress in these areas to executive management and the Compensation Committee through a variety of workforce metrics (e.g. workforce demographics, hiring, turnover, and promotion rates, including diversity characteristics for each of these metrics).
- We continue to monitor and adapt to the ongoing challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the safety and well-being of our employees.
- We use employee feedback to monitor employee morale and engagement, including through the use of surveys. During 2020, over 86% of our employees participated in two company-wide employee surveys that were conducted to better understand our employees’ well-being and more effectively guide our response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- We have practices in place to deliver fair and equitable compensation for employees based on their contribution and performance. We benchmark for market practices and regularly review our compensation and benefits against the market to confirm they remain competitive. We also offer a comprehensive set of benefits to our employees.
- We are committed to the continued development of our people, as evidenced by regular strategic talent reviews and succession planning, management training, continuous skill development through our online learning and development platform, and learning sessions designed to build our team’s skills and knowledge required for the future.
- We are focused on the increasingly competitive labor market, and we are working diligently to attract the best talent from a diverse range of sources. Over the last several years, we have refreshed our employment branding and developed targeted recruitment strategies for specialized skill sets.
Ethics and Compliance
- We operate a robust ethics and compliance program that is maintained by a designated Compliance Officer and overseen by the Audit Committee.
- Our Code of Conduct, which is applicable to directors, executive officers, and employees, represents our mission and values and outlines our approach to ethical conduct and compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, including non-retaliation, anti-corruption, and other similar areas.
- Our directors and employees receive annual ethics and compliance training and certify their compliance with our Code of Conduct.
- We maintain an ethics and compliance helpline through which employees or others can seek guidance or raise a concern confidentially and anonymously if desired. All reported concerns are reviewed and, as appropriate, investigated.
- We conducted an employee-wide ethics and compliance culture survey in 2020 to measure our ethics and compliance culture as well as the effectiveness of our ethics and compliance program.
Data Privacy and Cybersecurity
- We have adopted a rigorous governance framework for the oversight of cybersecurity risk, including a Board-level Cybersecurity Committee and a management-level Safety and Security Council that has a Board liaison.
- We implement strong privacy standards in our handling of personal information.
- Our business does not involve monetizing personal information.
- We have adopted the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) cybersecurity framework and perform periodic assessments against this framework to measure cybersecurity maturity.
- In addition to leveraging a broad array of industry frameworks and best practices applicable to our operating environments, our information security practices align with the AICPA, Trust Services Principles and Criteria (System and Organization Controls). On an annual basis, we obtain SOC 2 Type II and SOC 3 audit reports from an independent, external third-party accounting firm attesting to our system-level controls relating to the security, availability, and processing integrity of our systems.
- We maintain a security awareness program, which is required for all employees, that includes annual information security and compliance training, monthly information security training videos, and regular phishing awareness exercises.
- Through Verisign Cares, our philanthropic and charitable program, we seek to make a positive and lasting impact on the global internet community and the communities in which we live and work.
- In 2020, we doubled the amount up to which Verisign Cares will match employee donations to qualifying charitable organizations.
- Verisign Cares offers employees paid time off to give their time on a regular basis in support of local community organizations.
- We support non-profit organizations in the communities in which we live and work, including through periodic blood, toy, food and other donations.
- Our direct charitable contributions in 2020 totaled $3.5 million, which include Verisign Cares’ significant contributions to the Equal Justice Initiative during the summer’s eruption of social unrest, and to community organizations, first responders and food banks in regions where we have business operations to help with immediate COVID-related hardship.
- To help those whose jobs were displaced by, or perhaps lost to, COVID-19’s economic impact, Verisign Cares entered into its first partnership with Virginia Ready, a newly established nonprofit organization in our home state of Virginia which helps motivated Virginians to reskill for in-demand jobs in high-growth sectors such as our own.
- Our Reston corporate offices are LEED Gold certified for commercial interiors.
- We use recycled and earth friendly products at our Reston corporate offices.
- We have implemented technologies at our Reston corporate offices that reduce energy consumption.
- Board Composition
- 8 out of 9 directors are independent.
- 2 out of 9 directors are women.
- Annual Election of Directors
- All directors are elected annually.
- Majority Voting Standard
- To be elected in uncontested elections, each nominee for director must receive a majority of the votes cast.
- Lead Independent Director
- We have a lead independent director with robust responsibilities.
- Board Committees
- We have an Audit Committee, Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee and Compensation Committee, each of which is composed entirely of independent directors.
- In February 2020, the Board established a Cybersecurity Committee, which began meeting formally in April 2020, to assist the Board with its oversight of the Company’s cybersecurity program and risks.
- Stockholder Rights
- Stockholders have proxy access rights.
- Stockholders owning as few as 10% of outstanding common stock may call a special meeting of stockholders.
- Single Voting Class
- Our common stock is the only class of voting shares outstanding.
- One Share, One Vote
- Each share of our common stock is entitled to one vote.
- Annual Board Leadership Evaluation
- The Board evaluates the Board leadership structure annually.
- Annual Self-Evaluations
- The Board conducts an annual self-evaluation to determine whether it and its committees are functioning effectively.
- No “Poison Pill”
- We do not have a stockholder rights plan, or “poison pill,” in place.
- Annual Auditor Ratification
- Stockholders have the opportunity to ratify the Audit Committee’s selection of our independent registered public accounting firm annually.
- Stock Retention Policy
- Directors and executives are subject to a stock retention policy.