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HP co-chair resigns, two others follow

updated 07:20 pm EDT, Thu April 4, 2013

Three executives narrowly re-elected to the board earlier this year

Hewlett Packard co-chairman Ray Lane has stepped down from his position at the company, and is taking two other board members with him. Lane is leaving following a narrow re-election -- and G. Kennedy Thompson and John Hammergren, also both elected by a close margin -- are departing as well. All three are leaving in part due to their roles in the Autonomy acquisition scandal that rocked the company in 2012.

"After reflecting on the stockholder vote last month, I've decided to step down as executive chairman to reduce any distraction from HP's ongoing turnaround," Lane said in statement. "Since I joined HP's board a little over two years ago, I've been committed to board evolution to ensure our turnaround and future success."

Until a permanent replacement is found, director and investor Ralph Whitworth will become the interim chairman of the board. Whitworth had previously informed shareholders that they should prepare for changes on the board.

Most of the votes were narrow for the reelections. Hammergren received 53.91 percent of shareholders' votes but captured 81 percent last year. Thompson garnered 55.15 percent, down from 81.2 percent last election.

Glass Lewis noted prior to the vote that "HP's poor stock performance and the Autonomy fiasco call into question the oversight of the company's longer-serving directors, all of whom maintain leadership positions on the company's key committees."

Firms and groups seeking the ouster were the CtW Investment Group, the California Public Employees' Retirement System, the New York City public pension funds, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Pension Plan, stockholder advisory firm Glass Lewis, and financial analyst company Institutional Shareholder Services, all significant shareholders in HP.

Following the announcement, HP shares have fallen to $22.08, after closing at $22.30 for the day on the New York Stock Exchange.




by MacNN Staff

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