CalPERS should review its proxy-vote policies after the fund opposed reelection of directors at Ford Motor Co., Coca-Cola Co. and other companies, state Controller Steve Westly said Thursday.
The California Public Employees' Retirement System has criticized dozens of companies and executives, including Coca-Cola board member Warren E. Buffett, for not making accounting and other changes.
Westly, a CalPERS board member, said the fund should alter its policy if it wasn't helping improve corporate governance.
"I'm concerned that we are voting against some of the nation's strongest voices for good corporate governance, including Warren Buffett," Westly, a former EBay Inc. executive, said in a statement. "These are the very people we should be encouraging to serve on corporate boards."
The California Republican Party and business organizations have criticized Westly and state Treasurer Phil Angelides, saying they use the pension fund's proxy votes for political gain at the cost of investment returns. Westly and Angelides, both Democrats, are considered potential challengers to Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
A CalPERS spokesman did not immediately comment.