NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- This reads like another page from the annals of what makes publicly traded companies tough to govern. When the shareholders (or a group of them) get fed up, the feathers can really start flying.
That's apparently what's going on at McKesson (MCK), a company as old as the hills.
According to the company's historians, "Over the past 180+ years we have played a fundamental role in helping to shape the design and direction of health care: helping to set standards for the health care supply chain and playing a large role in our industry's technology revolution."
Now the company faces another historical showdown. A rather powerful union investment group is opposing the reelection of MCK's chairman and two other board directors. Among other complaints -- CtW Investment Group, which represents this investors group, says the chairman and CEO is paid too much.They also claim Chairman and CEO John Hammergren has ignored a directive from a shareholder advisory vote calling for his dual roles to be split in two. The union investment group doesn't want two other board members who head the compensation and governance committees to be re-elected either. You may recall that CtW was the group that led a campaign earlier this year that opposed Hammergren's outside activity as a longtime director of Hewlett-Packard (HPQ). It led to his eventual resignation from the HPQ board of directors. CtW, a group representing the labor federation Change to Win, advises union pension funds. CtW said recently that its fund owns a total of 1.4 million of MCK shares. MCK has about 228.5 million shares outstanding and a market cap of nearly $26 billion. As the one-year chart below illustrates, it has been a banner year for MCK shares even though its dividend of 80 cents per share offers a paltry yield of only 0.70%. Not exactly what you'd call "shareholder-friendly." MCK data by YCharts
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV