Exploring Corporate Governance Around the World

By Allison Garrett, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Oklahoma Christian University

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Heinz in a Pickle

Heinz is in quite a pickle over shareholder voting and other issues in connection with its annual meeting. On July 21, Heinz issued a statement informing street name shareholders of problems with the phone and internet voting systems. Approximately 30% of the issued and outstanding shares of Heinz are affected by the snafu.

Trian Group is pushing a minority slate of directors, and seems to relish the problems. Both Heinz and Trian issued battling press releases over the causes of the problems.

Reading the competing press releases together, it seems that the problem has to do with the inability of ADP's system to support street name voting for a minority slate of candidates. Both Heinz and Trian have urged shareholders to complete and return a proxy card in order to vote their shares.

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