Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Shareholders Unite: Ken Lewis Ousted as Bank of America Chairman

Ken Lewis has been removed as Chairman of Bank of America (BAC), as we predicted earlier. Massey has been named Chair. It might signal Lewis' leaving the CEO role soon.

Results of the vote are here.

Shareholders almost approved a proposal giving them the right to hold special stockholder meetings (to oust directors during the year) -- missing the votes needed by 0.5%. They were also 9% away from approving the say-on-pay proposal.

What's scariest for any inept CEO or director about these results is that they included "broker votes" going in BAC's favor. That is, all the shares held by brokers who are never instructed by the underlying shareholder how to vote those shares usually throw them behind the current management and board. Next year, in 2010, that changes and those votes won't be counted. It's likely in most corporate elections, pro-shareholder votes on director re-elections and shareholder proposals will increase by 15 - 20%.

We might start to see some real changes in our boardrooms across America.

Position: None.

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