The former Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) is a shadow of its former glorious self – three CEOs in just a few years, numerous changes among board members, various management scandals, and a HUGE battle over whether HP should merge with Compaq, another personal computer maker…
Are we now seeing in this Bloomberg story the final battles over the carcass? The key grafs are in the lede:
Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) directors, including Chief Executive Officer Leo Apotheker, went against company rules in their appointment of new board members, according to a shareholder-advisory group.
Apotheker played a direct role in picking new board members, a move that contravenes the board’s own rules governing director selection, according to Institutional Shareholder Services Inc., an adviser to investors on corporate governance matters.
Bloomberg’s brief description of what ISS does really leaves out a lot. ISS does NOT advise plain old investors. Their website, which is a bit hard to find since there are so many ISSs in the world – International Space Station, etc., describes their idea of investors: “This study …surveyed 335 issuers of stock and 161 investors, including both asset owners (e.g. pension funds, trusts, etc.) and asset managers.”
ISS, hmmm, weren’t they the people who suddenly changed their minds and supported the proposed HP-Compaq merger during the huge battle over the acquisition of Compaq being promoted by then-CEO Carly Fiorina just after a last-minute meeting between her and some ISS people just before the very close vote?
Wikipedia, which asks for more verification of informations about the merger, talks about some controversy relating to Deutsche Bank, but doesn’t discuss ISS’ role in the battle. In our opinion, the press didn’t do much to examine the ISS machinations, probably because none of the participants talked about it.
Note: IFO used to own HPQ, but sold when the Hurd controversy broke last year. She doesn’t need the drama.