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Apathetic shareholders can be as much of a problem for companies as hostile ones

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is in a frustrating pickle. The US chipmaker wants to issue up to 16.5 million new shares so it can pay its executives in stock options and restricted shares. Shareholders have voted more than 85% in favor of the plan. And yet AMD can’t go ahead. Or rather, it can—with a hefty price tag.

This company successfully thwarted investors’ efforts to reign in executive pay

We recently told you about four companies ignoring their shareholders’ votes. One was Hecla Mining, a silver producer that held the polls open longer than planned when it looked like shareholders were going to reject management’s pay package.

The vote is only advisory, but Hecla’s stalling worked: Instead of failing 49.6% to 46.7%, the company’s say-on-pay vote passed with 53.7% of the vote.

JPMorgan Works to Avert Split of Chief and Chairman Roles

Original publication date: 
Friday, April 5, 2013 - 18:07

JPMorgan Chase is working behind the scenes to avert a major potential embarrassment.

Here is how four companies are ignoring their shareholders’ votes

NYSE Euronext

Forget majority rules. In US-style corporate elections, it’s rarely so simple.

Investors can complain as loudly and clearly as they like, but corporate boards are often free to ignore them, with few or no immediate consequences. That’s true whether the protest involves ousting a board member or changing how the company does business.

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