Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) directors slide into board with slim majority
Northern, WI 03/22/2013 (avauncer) - Ray Lane the Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) (Current: $22.32, Down by 2.62%) Chairman as well as two other members of the board were re-elected via a slim majority in a referendum. This is a clear indication of the growing dismay over the performance of the company as well as its acquisition of Autonomy Corp. Shareholder advisors were of the opinion that the company had failed to vet the acquisition in a proper manner and their recommendation to the investors was against voting Lane as well as some other existing members of the 11-person board.
59 percent of votes were cast for Lane while Kennedy Thompson the director received 55 percent. John Hammergren garnered 54 percent support and in combination, all three had 80 percent vote backing. Over the past few weeks, Glass Lewis and Co and Institutional Shareholder Services had faulted the Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) board for the write-down, the subsequent accounting improprieties and the stock deletion that had been caused by several years of mismanagement. The ISS had recommended the company’s investors to cast its vote against Lane, Thompson and Hammergren. Glass Lewis had urged shareholders to remove Rajiv Gupta the independent director as well as Marc Andreessen the venture-capital investor.
Numerous affecting factors
The company growth had taken a beating and so had its stock price, all this primarily due to the $8.8 billion autonomy write-down that was disclosed in November. This, in addition to various strategy shifts and three-years of upheavals in management contributed to the slowdown and also added to much complexity to Meg Whitman, the CEO’s turnaround effort. The company is now left with no choice but to realign its board and the ideal situation would be for the directors to resign of their own accord. While addressing the shareholders Whitman said that HP needs to concentrate on research and development more as well as focus on rebuilding its reseller network. The CEO has said that it will take at least five years for the turnaround to show results.
She is the fourth HP CEO in three years and the company has shown some signs of progress since she took over its reins. Ralph Whitworth the HP director said that there may soon be some changes to the board and that there will be some evolution in the coming months and years. He said that though the board is amongst the best that he had seen, change is required for progress especially since the history of this one has not been very noteworthy.