HP CEO comes under fire for board appointments

hp posts 5 pct profit gain on revenue of 33 bln ceo leo apotheker

HP’s new CEO Leo Apotheker is facing some resistant in his efforts to bring fresh blood into the Hewlett-Packard board of directors. Shareholder advisory firm International Shareholder Services has sent a report to its clients urging that they not approve Apotheker’s new director appointments, saying Apotheker violated HP company rules by participating in the appointment process. According to excerpts published by Bloomberg, ISS says that HP company policies prohibit Apotheker’s direct participation in the appointment of five new board members “raises red flags.”

HP is holding its annual shareholders’ meeting next week, during which it expects to formally approve the new board members.

Back in January, HP announced that four current board members would be leaving the company, and five new people were being nominated to the board—including former eBay CEO and California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman. Of the five people nominated to the board, ISS notes that Apotheker has established relationships with four of them, in some cases serving on boards or advisory boards, and three of the nominees could be considered former customers of Apotheker while he was CEO of business software giant SAP.

HP has characterized ISS’s recommendation as a “misinterpretation” of its board selection process, and maintains that its board members carried out the selection and nomination process for new directors in a manner that fully satisfies the company’s policies and practices.