Investor seeks ouster of two HP directors, audit firm

An investment firm affiliated with the labor group Change to Win wants Hewlett-Packard to drop two of its longstanding board members and its auditor, Ernst & Young, largely because of the Palo Alto tech company’s questionable acquisitions.

The firm, CtW Investment Group, urged HP’s shareholders at the company’s March 20 annual meeting to vote against the re-election of board members G. Kennedy Thompson and John L. Hammergren, and reject Ernst & Young.

“Despite membership changes, we believe the board is hobbled by years’ worth of poor judgment, lack of accountability and weak oversight of critical functions,’ CtW said in a letter HP made public Tuesday.

“Since last year’s meeting, the company has announced approximately $17 billion in write-downs associated with past acquisitions, including $8.8 billion attributable to the 2011 acquisition of Autonomy.”

CtW also claimed HP is paying Ernst & Young excessive fees. CtW works with stock-investing pension funds sponsored by affiliates of Change to Win, a federation of unions representing over six million members.

In a statement responding to the allegations, HP said, “We feel we have the right board in place to turn HP around.”

Steve Johnson Steve Johnson (298 Posts)

Steve Johnson covers the microchip industry, cyber security and the big-technology sector that includes Hewlett-Packard, Oracle and Cisco Systems.