By Braden Reddall
SAN FRANCISCO, July 31 (Reuters) - Shareholders re-elected
all of McKesson Corp's board members on Wednesday,
defying the recommendations of influential proxy advisers and
investors who protested the inflated compensation and dual roles
of Chairman and CEO John Hammergren.
The company said all directors received a majority vote at
the annual shareholders meeting in favor of their remaining on
the board. No specific numbers were disclosed.
Shareholder advisory firms had called for some directors to
go. ISS, the most influential, recommended ejection of the
board's entire compensation committee: committee Chairman Alton
Irby, Edward Mueller, Christine Jacobs and David Lawrence.
The CTW Investment Group, part of a Change to Win labor
federation that includes pension funds invested in McKesson, had
wanted Irby out, along with Jane Shaw, head of the corporate
governance committee. On Tuesday, it issued a statement calling
McKesson "the new poster-child of out-of-control CEO pay."
Concerns over governance at the San Francisco health
technology and distribution company have rumbled for some time.
A majority of the shareholders voted last year in favor of a
non-binding resolution calling for splitting the chairman and
CEO roles, both of which Hammergren retains.
Critics have called attention in particular to a lump-sum
pension payment of $159 million that the longtime chief of
McKesson would have received, disclosed in an SEC filing, had he
retired. The Wall Street Journal called it one of the largest
pensions in history, inflated over time by special concessions
made by the board, such as credit for years in service.
McKesson executives have argued that its governance and
compensation have helped drive strong performance, which in turn
has elevated compensation for executives. The company's shares
have climbed more than 27 percent in 2013. Over the CEO's
14-year tenure, the stock has more than quadrupled.
"We appreciate the support shown by our shareholders today
and the thoughtful way many have engaged with us as they
carefully considered the proposals presented," Hammergren said
in a statement after the preliminary voting results were