Corporate governance of the Philips group - Introduction
Koninklijke Philips N.V., a company organized under Dutch law (the ‘Company’), is the parent company of the Philips Group (‘Philips’ or the ‘Group’). The Company, which started as a limited partnership with the name Philips & Co in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, in 1891, was converted into the company with limited liability N.V. Philips’ Gloeilampenfabrieken on September 11, 1912. The Company’s name was changed to Philips Electronics N.V. on May 6, 1994, to Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. on April 1, 1998, and to Koninklijke Philips N.V. on May 3, 2013. Its shares have been listed on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, Euronext Amsterdam, since 1912. The shares have been traded in the United States since 1962 and have been listed on the New York Stock Exchange since 1987.
Over the last decades the Company has pursued a consistent policy to improve its corporate governance in line with Dutch, US and international (codes of) best practices. The Company has incorporated a fair disclosure practice in its investor relations policy, has strengthened the accountability of its executive management and its independent supervisory directors, and has increased the rights and powers of shareholders and the communication with investors. The Company is required to comply with, inter alia, Dutch Corporate Governance rules, the US Sarbanes-Oxley Act, other US securities laws and related regulations (including applicable stock exchange rules), insofar as applicable to the Company. A summary of signiﬁcant differences between the Company’s corporate governance practice and the New York Stock Exchange corporate governance standards is published on the Company’s website (www.philips.com/investor).
In this report, the Company addresses its overall corporate governance structure and states to what extent and how it applies the principles and best practice provisions of the Dutch Corporate Governance Code (as revised on December 10, 2008; the ‘Dutch Corporate Governance Code’). This report also includes the information which the Company is required to disclose pursuant to the Dutch governmental decree on Article 10 Takeover Directive and the governmental decree on Corporate Governance. Deviations from aspects of the corporate governance structure of the Company, when deemed necessary in the interests of the Company, will be disclosed in the Annual Report. Substantial changes in the Company’s corporate governance structure and in the Company’s compliance with the Dutch Corporate Governance Code, if any, will be submitted to the General Meeting of Shareholders for discussion under a separate agenda item. The Supervisory Board and the Board of Management, which are responsible for the corporate governance structure of the Company, are of the opinion that the principles and best practice provisions of the Dutch Corporate Governance Code that are addressed to the Board of Management and the Supervisory Board, interpreted and implemented in line with the best practices followed by the Company, are being applied.