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Corporate Governance

The Applied® Board of Directors has adopted governance principles and practices to guide us in serving the best interests of the Company, our associates and other stakeholders. Our Board brings a diverse set of skills, experience, and attributes to the oversight of business operations. In the past five years, we added two sitting public company CEOs and two other active executives to the Board, deepening the expertise brought to our corporate governance.

We encourage investors and other interested constituents to review our annual proxy statement for details about our governance practices. In particular, we are pleased to highlight the following:

All Board directors, except for the Company CEO, are independent; the Chairman of the Board is an independent director; and key committees are staffed only by independent directors.

The Board holds regular executive sessions for independent directors to meet without management present.              

All key governance documents (including our Board of Director Governance Principles and Practices, Committee Charters, Related Party Transactions Policy, and Director Independence Standards) are available on our website.

The Board holds an annual shareholder advisory vote to approve Applied’s executive compensation; we have earned at least a 97% FOR vote in each of the last five years.

Applied is committed to integrity in corporate governance and transparency in financial reporting; our Audit Committee engages a Big Four global accounting firm to serve as our independent auditor.

Did you Know?

As part of our ongoing commitment to the Applied® Core Values and Code of Business Ethics, associates are assigned required ethics and compliance training. Online training modules address various topics and reinforce the important role each of us plays in following the Code and our other policies in daily interactions with our customers, suppliers, fellow associates, communities and shareholders.

Did you Know?

Applied® was ranked in the top third among Ohio Fortune 1000 companies for Diversity in Corporate Governance, according to the 2018 report from the National Diversity Council.

Code of Business Ethics

All Applied® associates accept the responsibility to perform their daily jobs according to a policy of high ethical standards. We review our Code of Business Ethics, posted on our website, annually to ensure it is relevant to our current business and operating environment, and to the expectations of our stakeholders. All associates are required annually to formally acknowledge they have read the Code, understand it and agree to practice its ethical principles in the course of daily business activities.

Our “open door” policy supports Applied associates who want to report a problem – ethical or otherwise. Additionally, we have a third-party ethics hotline for associates, customers, suppliers and others to report, anonymously if desired, questionable incidents or conditions.

We take ethics very seriously, and pride ourselves on the high standards we have set.

Applied is dedicated to running an ethically and legally compliant business. Applied’s Code of Business Ethics specifically forbids its associates from engaging in anti-competitive, unethical, corrupt, or otherwise illegal conduct, such as money laundering or bribery. Applied expects our suppliers and customers to meet these same ethical standards.

Applied monitors Company practices to ensure compliance with applicable laws, including labor and employment laws, ethics and anti-corruption laws, and human trafficking and modern slavery laws. Applied further monitors to ensure compliance with its ethical standards, through committees that review ethical and legal matters. Each associate, officer, and director must respect and obey the laws of the jurisdictions in which they do business and adhere to Applied’s Core Values and Code of Business Ethics. Applied expects its customers and suppliers to do the same.

Applied is dedicated to the principle that genuine competition, in a free and open marketplace, brings value to our customers. Applied complies with applicable antitrust and trade regulation laws. We endeavor to conduct business in accordance with responsible and ethical marketing practices.


Confidential. Anonymous.