The US Justice Department is cracking down on interlocking directorates – executives who hold positions at competing companies – and on Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023, the department forced two directors to resign from the board of directors at Nextdoor Holdings Inc.
The two directors – Leslie Kilgore and Andrea Wishom – were also board members at rival social media company Pinterest, Inc., in violation of antitrust laws. According to Nextdoor’s proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in April, Kilgore and Wishom held dual board positions.
The resignations, which took effect Aug. 1, were voluntary and without admission of liability. “Neither of Ms. Kilgore’s nor Ms. Wishom’s resignation was the result of any disagreement with the company on any matter relating to the Company’s operations, policies or practices,” Nextdoor said in a statement.
The Justice Department’s enforcement initiative has led to the resignations of 15 directors from 11 company boards.
“We remain steadfast in our commitment to protect competition by preventing interlocking directorates that we believe violate Section 8 of the Clayton Act,” said Deputy Assistant Attorney General Andrew Forman in a statement.
Pinterest offers several types of Pins – including Standard Pins, Product Pins, Video Pins, and Idea Pins – in its visual discovery engine. Pinterest also provides THE YES app, a personalized shopping platform for fashion.
Kilgore and Wishom are listed as directors on Pinterest’s website and the company did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
According to the Justice Department, Section 8 of the federal Clayton Act prohibits company directors and officers from serving on the boards of competitors at the same time.
This is not the first time the Justice Department has taken action against interlocking directorates. With antitrust authorities continuing their crackdown on directors who hold multiple positions on competing companies, it seems likely that further resignations from additional company boards could be forthcoming.