Hewlett-Packard board members lose support
NEW YORK -- New York City Comptroller John C. Liu announced Friday that he plans to vote to remove two members of Hewlett-Packard's board of directors on March 20 because of their failure to protect investors from rejecting financial deals that ended up costing investors billions of dollars.
John H. Hammergren and G. Kennedy Thompson, the two longest-serving directors and members of the HP board's Finance and Investment Committee, played a major role in approving the purchase of Autonomy Corp., a British software company, in 2011. After spending $11 billion to purchase Autonomy, HP lost $8.8 billion.
Liu did not mention HP board Chairman Ray Lane, a West Virginia University graduate and member of WVU's Board of Governors. Lane has also been targeted for removal by some groups that want Hammergren and Thompson off the HP board.
In addition to the Autonomy deal, HP lost billions in purchasing two other major technology companies: Texas-based EDS in 2012 and California-based Palm, a smartphone manufacturer, in 2011.
Liu serves as investment adviser and trustee of several New York City pension funds for government workers, teachers, firefighters and police officers. Those pension funds own more than 5.5 million HP shares, which were worth $115.6 million on Thursday, according to Liu's office.
Liu said the HP board "will be unable to restore investor confidence without swiftly replacing" Hammergren and Thompson.