Bloomberg News

HP Says Larry Babbio Won’t Stand for Re-Election to Board

January 31, 2012

(Updates with recent board moves in the fourth paragraph.)

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Hewlett-Packard Co. director Larry Babbio, who drew criticism from corporate-governance advisers last year, won’t stand for re-election to the company’s board.

Babbio, a former president at Verizon Communications Inc. who has served on Hewlett-Packard’s board since 2002, will stay through the company’s next annual meeting, scheduled for March 21, according to a regulatory filing dated Jan. 24.

Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. and Glass Lewis & Co., which offer advice on corporate-governance matters, recommended last year that Hewlett-Packard shareholders vote against Babbio’s re-election to the board. ISS said Babbio, along with two other directors, shouldn’t have let then-Chief Executive Officer Leo Apotheker play a role in the nomination of new board members. Even so, Babbio was re-elected last March.

Babbio’s planned departure is the third change to Hewlett- Packard’s board since Meg Whitman took the reins from Apotheker on Sept. 22. Sari Baldauf said this month that she also wouldn’t seek re-election in March. Activist shareholder Ralph Whitworth joined the board in November after his firm, Relational Investors LLC, accumulated an almost 1 percent stake in the computer maker.

Glass Lewis had also criticized Babbio for his role in approving the severance package for former CEO Mark Hurd. The executive departed in August 2010 after the company said inaccurate expense reports filed by Hurd or on his behalf concealed a personal relationship with a contractor, in violation of Hewlett-Packard’s standards of business conduct.

Glass Lewis also faulted Babbio for failing to create a succession plan that “may have avoided” what it said was a “high-profile and ultimately expensive CEO hunt.”

Hewlett-Packard, the world’s largest personal-computer maker, was unchanged today in New York trading at $27.88. Shares of the Palo Alto, California-based company have tumbled 39 percent in the past year.

--Editors: Nick Turner, Tom Giles

To contact the reporters on this story: Aaron Ricadela in San Francisco at aricadela@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net


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