Hewlett Packard shareholders have approved all 13 direct nominees for the company's board of directors, including the five new directors HP appointed in January.
At HP's annual shareholder meeting Wednesday in Arlington, Va., the company’s first with CEO Leo Apotheker at the helm, investors approved the appointment of Shumeet Banerji, CEO of Booz & Company; Gary Reiner, former CIO of GE and a current special advisor to private equity firm General Atlantic; Patricia Russo, former CEO of Alcatel-Lucent; Dominique Senequier, CEO of AXA Private Equity; and Meg Whitman, former president and CEO of eBay.
All five incoming directors have close business ties with Apotheker, which has spurred questions about their ability to make objective decisions. Earlier this month, advisory firm International Shareholder Services (ISS) criticized Apotheker's involvement in the appointment of the new directors and advised shareholders to withhold their approval.
The ratification of HP's board reshuffle will help HP put the Mark Hurd sexual harassment scandal in the rear view mirror, but shareholders voted against proposed pay packages for top HP executives, a sign of lingering concern over the size of the compensation for Hurd and Apotheker.
In a Q&A during the meeting, one shareholder asked if HP had any more information to share on the nature of Hurd's severance package. Mike Holston, HP's general counsel, noted that details on Hurd's severance were included in the HP press release and SEC filing on the matter, adding that HP has nothing more to say on the matter.
HP's board bore the brunt of shareholder anger in the wake of Mark Hurd's resignation last August after an internal sexual harassment found he'd violated the company's Code Of Conduct in the course of his dealings with HP marketing contractor Jodie Fisher. HP still faces a number of shareholder lawsuits over the size of Hurd's severance package.
In addition to Apotheker and Raymond J. Lane, non-executive chairman of HP's board of directors, shareholders re-elected Marc L. Andreessen, co-founder and general partner of Andreessen Horowitz; Lawrence T. Babbio, Jr., senior advisor to Warburg Pincus; Sari M. Baldauf, former executive vice president and general manager of the Networks business group at Nokia; Rajiv L. Gupta, senior Advisor to New Mountain Capital, LLC; John H. Hammergren, president, chairman and CEO of McKesson Corp.; and G. Kennedy Thompson, executive advisor to Aquiline Capital Partners LLC.