This excerpt taken from the HPQ DEF 14A filed Jan 23, 2007.
RESOLVED, pursuant to Article IX of the Bylaws (the "Bylaws") of Hewlett-Packard Company ("HP") and section 109(a) of the Delaware General Corporation Law, stockholders amend the Bylaws to add section 3.17:
"HP shall include in its proxy materials for a meeting of stockholders at which directors are to be elected the name, together with the Disclosure and Statement (both as defined in this section 3.17), of any person nominated for election to the Board of Directors by a stockholder or group thereof that satisfies the requirements of this section 3.17 (the "Nominator"), and allow stockholders to vote with respect to such nominee on HP's proxy card. Each Nominator may nominate up to two candidates for election at a meeting.
A Nominator must:
material other than HP's proxy materials, comply with all applicable laws and regulations, including, without limitation, the SEC's Rule 14a-12.
The Nominator may furnish a statement, not to exceed 500 words, in support of the nominee's candidacy (the "Statement"), at the time the Disclosure is submitted. The Board of Directors shall adopt a procedure for timely resolving disputes over whether notice of a nomination was timely given and whether the Disclosure and Statement comply with this section 3.17 and any applicable SEC rules."
We believe that stockholders of U.S. public companies currently have no meaningful control over the process by which directors are nominated and elected. Stockholders whose suggested nominees are rejected by a nominating committee have no recourse other than sponsoring a dissident election campaign, which is so expensive that it rarely occurs outside the takeover context. Harvard Law School professor Lucian Bebchuk has estimated only about 80 contested elections occurred at U.S. public companies from 1996 through 2002 that did not seek to change control of the corporation.
In our view, access to the proxy for purposes of electing a director nominated by stockholders with a significant stake in HP is the most effective mechanism for ensuring accountability. We believe that greater accountability would benefit HP and enhance shareholder value.
We urge stockholders to vote for this proposal.