Analyst recommends withholding votes on Maytag directors

Analyst recommends withholding votes on Maytag directors
Date May 10, 2005
Section(s) Local News
DES MOINES (AP) — A corporate analyst said Monday that Maytag shareholders should withhold their votes on four directors seeking re-election at the company’s annual meeting, citing poor returns and decreased stock price.

Withholding the votes at Thursday’s meeting would send a message that the board “needs to become more involved in the company’s planning,” said Jim Melican, managing director for policy with Vienna, Va.-based PROXY Governance.

Those directors up for re-election are Barbara R. Allen, a director since 1995 and a partner with The Everest Group, a strategy consulting firm.; Howard L. Clark, a director since 1986 and vice chairman of Lehman Brothers, Inc.; Lester Crown, a director since 1989 and chairman of Material Service Corporation; and William Kerr, a director since 1998 and chief executive officer of Meredith Corp.

The directors will be elected for either one- or three-year terms depending on the outcome of a shareholder ballot item which calls for directors to be elected on an annual basis from a classified basis. The board of directors is recommending shareholders approve the change.

Proxy’s report suggests a shake up in Maytag‘s management is needed because the company’s stock is trading at a 14-year low, dropping from more than $45 per share in April 2002 to the $10 range.

“We can’t imagine the directors aren’t saying at every meeting, ‘What are we doing about this?”‘ Melican said.

Melican said shareholders seemed to send a message last year by withholding an unusually high percentage of votes for three directors.

The report also cited the appliance-maker’s failure to meet internal targets.

Maytag produces appliances under the Maytag, Amana, Hoover, Jenn-Air and Magic Chef brand names.

Maytag stocked was up 23 cents to close Monday at $10.37 per share on the New York Stock Exchange. It was down 8 cents at midmorning today.

Newton Daily News Editor Peter Hussmann contributed to this story.


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