HP Shakes Up Board, Appoints Five New Members

Former California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, Patricia Russo, past Alcatel’s chief executive, among new faces.

January 22, 2011

D.H. Kass

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Hewlett-Packard Co. named five new members to its board of directors effective today, January 21, 2011, bringing the current total to 17 until the next shareholder meeting in March, when the number will be reduced by vote to 13 members, the company said.

Raymond J. Lane, HP non-executive chairman of the board, said that the changes are intended to diversify and bring fresh views to the company as the IT industry undergoes rapid and substantial changes.

“The addition of these new directors will further diversify the outstanding talents and wide-ranging experience that our directors already bring to HP,” said Lane.

“Each is a widely respected and deeply experienced business leader, and together they will provide our board and management team with new insight and perspectives relating to HP’s business and the rapidly changing technology industry,” he said.

The five new board members include Meg Whitman, former eBay Inc. chief executive and recent gubernatorial candidate in California, Patricia Russo, Alcatel-Lucent former chief executive, Shumeet Banerji, Booz & Co. chief executive, Gary Reiner, former General Electric Co. chief information officer and currently special advisor to General Atlantic, a private equity firm, and Dominique Senequier, AXA Private Equity chief executive.

HP said that current board members Joel Hyatt, John Joyce, Robert Ryan and Lucille Salhany are leaving.

The holdover board members subject to election at the March shareholder meeting include Lane, Léo Apotheker, HP president and chief executive, Marc Andreessen, Lawrence Babbio, Jr., Sari Baldauf, Rajiv Gupta, John Hammergren and G. Kennedy Thompson.

HP’s board is no stranger to controversy. It recently came under fire for its handling of former chief executive Marc Hurd’s departure six months ago. A shareholder lawsuit accuses the board of mismanaging his departure by granting him a severance package estimated in excess of $50 million.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the matter and HP said this week that it has launched its own examination.

In September, 2006, California’s attorney general investigated HP for obtaining phone records during an internal probe into company leaks after the board forced out former chief executive Carly Fiorina in February, 2005. HP ultimately settled the case and charges against board chairman Patricia Dunn were dropped but the perception of a dysfunctional board has remained fueled further by the Hurd affair.

TAGS: HP,hewlett-packard,Meg Whitman,board of directors,Marc Hurd

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