Intel Shareholders Must Not Re-elect eBay’s Donahoe: Proxy Firms

Intel Shareholders Must Not Re-elect eBay’s Donahoe: Proxy Firms
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Intel shareholders have been asked by two proxy advisory firms to vote against the re-election of John Donahoe as director, says a report from the Wall Street Journal. Proxy firms are citing a poor attendance record as the reason to vote against the re-election of eBay’s president and chief executive to Intel’s BoD.

eBay kept Donahoe busy

Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and Glass, Lewis & Co. voiced their discontent regarding Donahoe’s scarce attendance, which stands at less than 75% of the meetings held by the Intel board and committees he served on in 2014.

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“We view this as a failure by this director to fulfill a fundamental responsibility to represent shareholders at such meetings,” Glass Lewis notes in its letter.

Glass Lewis notes that lack of attendance is seen as a failure of the director to fulfill a fundamental responsibility to represent the shareholders. ISS noted that Donahoe could not give any valid reason for this poor attendance record. Both the firms support the re-election of all the Intel directors except Donahoe.

Separately, Donahoe’s spokesman cited a letter from Intel’s Chairman Andy Bryant and Susan Decker, its lead independent director, urging shareholders to vote in favor of Donahoe, who could not be present at the meetings due to pressing needs at eBay last year.

Intel backs Donahoe

EBay spun off its PayPal unit as a separate public company last year after being pushed by activist Carl Icahn. In the letter, Intel said that last year demanded Donahoe’s maximum time for eBay due to the special circumstances of the breakup plan. The letter also noted that before 2014, Donahoe has a strong attendance record, and in 2015 his attendance has already rebounded. Intel talked about the expertise that Donahoe brings, especially to the company’s leadership team, which is comparatively new. Brian Krzanich was appointed as the CEO in May 2013.

Intel’s letter read that Donahoe has given his guidance to the management team on the technology and innovation front, offering important insights regarding Intel’s global online presence and the online experience of the customers, which are an important pillars for the chip maker’s strategy for creating long-term stockholder value. Additionally, Donahoe possesses technical and brand marketing expertise, as well as over 15-years of senior leadership experience.

It will be interesting to see whether or not Donahoe is re-elected in Intel’s annual shareholders meeting scheduled for May 21.

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