At HP's annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday, three board members kept their jobs but one large shareholder still wants to see them gone: NYC Comptroller John C. Liu.
“Shareowners have sent a clear message that the directors most responsible for HP’s recent debacles must be held accountable,” Comptroller Liu said in a statement sent to Business Insider. “The onus is now on the board to take the steps necessary to ensure that all of its directors enjoy broad investor support."
HP directors need a simple majority, over 50 percent, to be voted in. Directors John Hammergren and G. Kennedy Thompson, barely made it. Hammergren got 54 percent of shareholders' votes, Thompson got 55 percent. Chairmain Ray Lane only did slightly better at 59 percent, reports Fox News' Poornima Gupta.
Shareholders appear to be holding these three directors responsible for HP's $11 billion purchase of Autonomy in 2011. In November, HP wrote off $8.8 of that purchase and said it discovered $5 billion worth of fraud in Autonomy's books, after the deal closed. Autonomy execs deny any wrongdoing.
Another board member, large shareholder Ralph Whitworth , promised changes to the board are coming soon, maybe within months. That won't be soon enough for Liu, who voted against both Thompson and Hammergren.
Here's Liu's full statement about the shareholder vote:
NYC COMPTROLLER LIU STATEMENT ON HP DIRECTORS VOTE
NEW YORK, N.Y. – NYC Comptroller John C. Liu released the following statement in response to questions about the vote in today’s director election at Hewlett-Packard:
“Shareowners have sent a clear message that the directors most responsible for HP’s recent debacles must be held accountable,” Comptroller Liu said. “The onus is now on the board to take the steps necessary to ensure that all of its directors enjoy broad investor support. Shareowners need directors who will protect the long-term interests of the company and its investors.”
Comptroller Liu’s March 8 announcement that the NYC Pension Funds would vote their shares against Directors John Hammergren and G. Kennedy Thompson is available here:
New York City Comptroller John C. Liu serves as the investment advisor to, custodian, and trustee of the New York City Pension Funds. The NYC Pension Funds hold 5,536,118 shares in Hewlett-Packard for a combined asset value of $126,389,573.94 as of 3/18/2013.
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