HP lashes back at Walter Hewlett

In a harsh letter to fellow board member Walter Hewlett, directors of Hewlett-Packard upbraided him for statements made in his recent proxy on the pending megamerger between HP and Compaq Computer.

According to a Monday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, a letter signed by all seven directors--Hewlett excluded--disputed Hewlett's reasons for voting as a director in favor of the deal while planning to vote his shares against the merger as a shareholder. The directors also questioned his priorities because of his absence at some key board meetings, during which merger details were discussed.

The latest round of mudslinging between the parties raises the question of whether Hewlett, son of HP co-founder William R. Hewlett, will resign from the board or be dropped from the list when the company's nominating committee presents its slate of directors for re-election at the annual meeting.

HP declined to comment on that question, other than to note that a date for the annual shareholders meeting has not been set. The nominating committee includes several board members; Hewlett is not among them.

News source: CNet News - HP lashes back at Walter Hewlett

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