HP Takes Steps to Oust Hewlett

Hewlett-Packard (HP) announced yesterday that it won't seek reelection for recalcitrant board member Walter Hewlett, a member of one of the company's founding families who attempted to prevent its merger with Compaq in a bitter shareholder fight. Hewlett, who recently launched a lawsuit aimed at overturning the merger, criticized the decision. "I believe the HP board has done HP stockholders a disservice by excluding me due to our differing points of view," he said.

"The board's decision not to nominate Walter Hewlett is based on his ongoing adversarial relationship with the company, as evidenced by his recent litigation against HP, as well as concerns about his lack of candor and issues of trust," said an HP statement about the decision.

HP's concerns about Hewlett finally came to a head late last week. Just a day after assuring board members that he would maintain a "constructive working relationship" with them despite the nasty in-fighting he previously provoked, he slapped HP with a lawsuit alleging that the company used improper means to secure shareholder votes in favor of the merger. "My fellow board members and I were shocked," said Sam Ginn, an HP board member.

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