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.”


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