Computer maker HP’s acquisition of software firm Autonomy has appeared to come back to haunt its chairman of the board, Raymond J Lane, who is to step down from the role, in addition to directors John H Hammergren and G Kennedy Thompson also leaving the board.
In the interim, director Ralph V Whitworth will replace Lane, who will remain on the board. Thompson and Hammergren will remain on the board until the board meeting in May.
Shareholders had sought to unseat Lane, Hammergren and Thompson in a proxy vote at HP’s shareholder meeting in San Jose, California, last month, because of Lane’s involvement in HP’s US$11bn allegedly bungled acquisition of Autonomy, reported AllThingsD.
Fifty-nine per cent of shareholders voted to keep Lane on the board, but The Wall Street Journal reported that Lane was uneasy with the margin and chose to leave the chairmanship.
In a statement, Lane said, “After reflecting on the stockholder vote last month, I’ve decided to step down as executive chairman to reduce any distraction from HP’s ongoing turnaround.”
The board has begun seeking a permanent non-executive board chairman, as well as two or more new independent directors.
HP is also cutting the role of lead independent director, now held by Rajiv L Gupta, as it’s no longer necessary as a result of Lane stepping down.
Gupta will remain on the board and will replace Thompson as chairman of the Audit Committee.
Gary M Reiner will replace Gupta as chairman of the Nominating and Governance Committee.
Whitworth will become chairman of the Finance and Investment Committee upon Hammergren’s departure.
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