Groundhog Year for HP

Eleanor Bloxham, CEO of The Value Alliance and Corporate Governance Alliance, writes critically of HP’s Meg Whitman and their board in HP: Same issues, different year for Fortune magazine.

Bloxham cuts to the core of the issues. Last year, HP achieved the distinction of being among the 1.6% of companies with a failed say on pay vote. The board was in flux with a new slate and Apotheker replacing Mark Hurd. This year they have another new slate and Meg Whitman.

I love Bloxham’s analysis of Whitman’s pay package as one motivated by the stock not sinking… not really pay for performance. I didn’t realize Whitman sits on three outside boards — P&G, Zipcar, and Zaarly. According to Bloxham,

If Whitman only works the average amount of hours for directors (according to the National Association of Corporate Directors), her outside board service takes up over 51 hours a month. Shareholders will have to decide if three outside boards is too many for a sitting CEO in a company whose stock price has still not fully recovered from the self-induced shocks that have occurred while she was sitting on HP’s board…

Maybe shareholders will decide to send a message on pay and board elections this year. If they don’t, maybe next year, we’ll just see more of the same.

Another groundhog year for HP?

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