We are still in the midst of our second Foxhole of the Year Award for the company that makes it the most difficult for shareowners turn up at their annual meeting. Last year’s winner was Peabody Energy for their choice of Gillette, Wyoming, a town with less than 30,000 residents.
With Chevron (CVX), we have another 2014 entrant.
Chevron CEO John Watson scheduled the May 28 meeting in the isolated town of Midland, halfway between Ft.Worth and El Paso, a five-hour drive from the nearest metropolitan area. Details on the move can be found on The Chevron Pit, the blog maintained by the legal team for the affected Ecuadorian communities.
In 2010, during his first annual meeting as CEO and Chairman, Watson famously cut off the microphone when villagers from Ecuador’s rainforest tried to confront him with evidence of the company’s environmental crimes in their home country. He later became so infuriated that he had the Houston police arrest five well-known critics of the company, including Han Shan (a U.S. spokesperson for the villagers) and Antonia Juhasz, the author of The True Cost of Chevron documenting the company’s environmental abuses around the world.
Watson also has been under criticism for his compensation package – he made more than $30 million in 2012 and $24 million last year – and for his conflicts of interest on the Ecuador matter…
For a letter signed by 43 U.S. civil advocacy groups criticizing Chevron for targeting its critics, see here. For background on Chevron’s retaliatory RICO case, see this summary document and these legal petitions.
Contest rules rules for the Foxhole of the year award are simple. E-mail your nominations to James McRitchie (click on name) by September 15th. Include the invitation language from the proxy and your reasons as to why your nominee should be declared the winner. I’ll decide the winner and probably a runner-up and will send an appropriate email, certificate or some garbage from my waste can to the winning company’s CEO. Of course, I’ll also announce the winner and runner-up here with some fanfare.
I will also entertain awarding the best annual meeting. I understand Johnson and Johnson (JNJ) was easy to get to, convenient time/date, food, comfort, Q&A, headsets for hearing impaired, webcast, podcast, etc. Let’s hear from readers.