The family ties between the Hewlett family and Hewlett Packard (HP) effectively ended yesterday when the company revealed that it will not re-nominate Walter Hewlett, son of co-founder Bill, to the board.
The decision comes just days after shareholders voted in favour the proposed $22bn merger with Compaq, which Hewlett had bitterly opposed.
HP said in a statement that the decision not to re-nominate Hewlett had been made "based on [his] ongoing adversarial relationship with the company, as evidenced by recent litigation against HP, as well as concerns about his lack of candour in issues of trust".
HP had intended to re-nominate Hewlett but was put off after he allegedly hinted that the company had "bought votes" from major shareholder Deutsche Bank to guarantee its support during the merger vote.
Hewlett's frustration was evident in a statement released yesterday.
"It is unfortunate that the HP board has seemingly missed what the company's stockholders have clearly recognised: that dissent is not disloyalty, that healthy boards need not agree on every issue and that, while management and board may run a company, the stockholders are the true owners of a company," he stated.
Hewlett added that, if the deal had gone through, he would have supported a "successful implementation" of the merger.
The omission of Hewlett finally brings to an end any family involvement on the HP board and has drawn criticism from some shareholders and analysts as potentially divisive.
The company's shareholders will vote on the new board at its annual meeting 26 April.
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