H-P Confident in Hurd

At the tech giant's shareholder meeting, ballot measures for change are defeated.
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(HPQ) - Get Report

shareholders may want more say in how the company is run, but they don't want to mess with a good thing.

At the technology giant's annual stockholder meeting Wednesday, shareholders voted down two proposals that promised to change key corporate governance practices at the company.

The defeat of the ballot measures means Mark Hurd will be able to continue his duties as both Chairman of the Board and CEO, and it gives H-P the primary responsibility of shaping its board of directors.

Two other proposals on the proxy card that involve linking executive pay to performance and giving shareholders a say in antitakeover, or poison pill, provisions, were approved on majority votes.

But the widely watched proposal that would have given shareholders the right to nominate their own slate of directors for election to H-P's board fell short of the 66 2/3% vote requirement, garnering only 39% of the vote.

In a letter to shareholders ahead of Wednesday's meeting, Hurd urged shareholders to vote against the proposal, which he called "divisive."

With H-P's stock up 35% from its 52-week low of $29 and with H-P continuing to deliver impressive financial results under Hurd's leadership, shareholders opted to stick with the status quo.

H-P's board of directors has had its share of controversy in recent years, most recently with an investigation into boardroom leaks that led to the ouster of former Chairwoman Patricia Dunn. The affair resulted in Hurd assuming the duties of chairman, in addition to that of CEO.

A measure seeking to separate the jobs of CEO and chairman, considered good corporate governance by some experts, garnered only 17% of the vote and was not approved.