During Ray Lane’s just-ended tenure as chairman of Hewlett-Packard, the company…
…saw its stock price decline by 50%
…bought Autonomy for $11.1 billion and then wrote it off
…hired and fired CEO Leo Apothekar.
Lane’s challenged run at the top seemed like it would finally come to an end in March, when less than 60% of shareholders voted to keep him in the job.
But Lane did not stop down.
According to the New York Times’s James Stewart, Lane refused to step down, and only finally relented after HP CEO Meg Whitman, other directors, and big shareholder Dodge & Cox pleaded with him to do so.
Stewart’s story is headlined: “The Case of H.P.’s Obstinate Director.”
Though the Times cites “people with knowledge of the board’s deliberations,” Lane denies that he was “obstinate.”
“I didn’t feel any pressure at all other than the pressure of the vote. If you get less than an 80 per cent vote, it’s something you have to think about. I told the board I’d leave any time they wanted and they said, ‘No, please don’t leave.’ I stepped down as chairman because I thought it was the right thing to do.”
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