4 Funds, Panel Target HP
Four public pension funds Monday sought greater power to nominate directors to the board of Hewlett-Packard Co. as a House subcommittee issued subpoenas to two HP employees and an investigator involved in the company’s spying scandal.
A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee said it was demanding the appearance at Thursday’s hearing of senior HP lawyer Kevin T. Hunsaker and HP global security manager Anthony Gentilucci, as well as Ron DeLia, operator of Security Outsourcing Solutions Inc., a Boston-based investigative firm hired by the company.
The three were central to an investigation that used subterfuge to obtain private phone records in an effort to find the source of boardroom leaks.
The panel also expects to hear from, among others, Chief Executive Mark V. Hurd and former Chairwoman Patricia C. Dunn, as well as outside lawyer Lawrence W. Sonsini, one of Silicon Valley’s top tech lawyers. Sonsini has hired President Bush’s onetime election counsel, Michael Madigan, and former New York Rep. Bill Paxon to help him at the hearing.
The group of East Coast public pension funds headed by the New York State Common Retirement Fund filed a proposal with HP to let shareholders nominate their own slate of directors at the next annual meeting.
The group, which collectively owns 30 million shares worth $675.9 million, also urged the Securities and Exchange Commission to issue a rule at its Oct. 18 meeting that would allow such shareholder slates at all public companies.
“We are concerned about shareholder value given recent events at HP,” said John Chartier, spokesman for New York Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi. “We have a history of getting involved when our shareholder value is in danger of diminishing.”
The New York fund is joined by the Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds, the North Carolina Retirement System and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Pension Funds.
An HP spokesman declined to comment.