NVIDIA’s Careful Steps into New World
replay of NVIDIA’s meeting, with slides, can be observed
(Nasdaq: NVDA, $7 billion), recognized for its world-class
applications of computer graphics to deliver megahits like Avatar and
Harry Potter, focused on two things in its pioneering use of new
technologies for its annual meeting last week: a carefully stepped
approach to adopting new processes, and the actual content of the
Last year, the
company webcast its meeting, but did not have a slide presentation or
the ability to vote or ask questions. This year, it took the step of
offering shareholders the ability to vote as well as ask questions
online. It added a slide show to its webcast, which the company says
enabled its CEO to better present the company and its products. But
when it came to video streaming, NVIDIA was not yet ready to commit.
“We wanted to test the waters”, says Robert Sherbin, NVIDIA spokesman.
“One day we may do all virtual. But we need to grow a little more
comfortable with the technology, see more participation externally,
and see what other companies are doing.”
Even this modest
tech step forward helped NVIDIA achieve its goal of expanding
shareholder participation. The company attracted about 50% more
shareholders than last year, totaling 145.
“Our objective was
primarily to broaden the potential base of participation in the
meeting,” says Rebecca Peters, the company’s director of corporate
affairs, adding that the technology enabled NVIDIA investors in
far-flung places to take part in the meeting.
Co-founder and CEO Jen-Sun (“Jensen”) Huang was reported to have spent
considerable time personally developing the shareholder address, which
this year included showing how the company’s software enabled
rendering fire in Harry Potter, as well as the latest computer-game
graphics and the company’s 3-D Vision glasses. Lee Hirsch, NVIDIA’s
global brand manager, who also owns shares in the company and attended
the May 19 meeting, thought his boss’ presentation was an important
element of the meeting experience. “Being the founder of the company,
he has a lot of passion that’s engaging and that comes through when he
In the Q-and-A that
followed Huang’s presentation, shareholders asked about a half-dozen
questions, of which one came from an online participant. Online voting
during the meeting was not significant, the company said.
presentations have helped NVIDIA draw a fairly steady attendance of
about 75-100 shareholders to its Santa Clara, California headquarters
over the past few years, bucking the trend of declining in-person
attendance. In last week’s meeting, the company attracted about 100
in-person shareholders and expanded its reach to an additional 45
validated shareholders who participated online. To that end, the
company accomplished what it set out to do.