Proxy advisers urge HP board-member ousters

Two  firms that advise investors on corporate proxies on Tuesday urged the ousters of several Hewlett-Packard board members, citing the Palo Alto’s technology giant’s poor performance in key areas.

Glass Lewis said shareholders at HP’s March 20 annual meeting should vote against directors John Hammergren, G. Kennedy Thompson, Rajiv Gupta and Marc Andreessen.

The advisory firm said the corporate coup was justified in part by HP’s admission that it was bamboozled into paying far too much last year for software company Autonomy. That resulted in HP recently writing down $8.8 billion of Autonomy’s value.

Glass Lewis also criticized HP for its hiring of former CEO Leo Apotheker, who orchestrated Autonomy’s purchase, and for HP’s failure to insure that its executive pay matched their performance.

The other proxy adviser — Institutional Shareholder Services — also urged shareholders to vote against Hammergren and Thompson, along with HP Chairman Ray Lane.

In a separate move, union pension adviser and HP shareholder CtW Investment Group recently opposed the re-election of Hammergren and Thompson.

In response, HP spokesman Howard Clabo said, “the Board fully supports the election of each of the director nominees named in the proxy statement.”

Steve Johnson Steve Johnson (243 Posts)

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