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Inquirer Daily News

Corporate Governance

POSTED: Monday, February 4, 2013, 3:00 AM

Within the last three weeks, Conshohocken-based Skinny Nutritional Corp. has seen three of its four board members resign, each submitting a letter critical of how the company is being run.

The only board member left is chairman Michael Salaman, who also happens to be the CEO.

Skinny Nutritional is the maker of Skinny Water, which is marketed as a zero-calorie, zero-sugar bottled water product. A tiny, unprofitable company, Skinny Nutritional’s shares trade over the “pink sheets” over-the-counter market at a price that’s quite near zero itself.

POSTED: Tuesday, May 29, 2012, 6:54 PM
Filed Under: Corporate Governance

The lopsided vote tallies in most corporate elections are so routine that it's only when a company loses a vote that you realize that occasionally shareholders can rally to send a message to the board.

Urban Outfitters Inc. lost two votes on shareholder proposals at its May 22 annual meeting. Shareholders approved a non-binding proposal trying to change board elections from pluraity voting to majority voting.

(In the former, receiving just one "for" vote in an uncontested election means a director is elected. In majority voting, a nominee must receive a majority of the votes cast.)

POSTED: Monday, November 7, 2011, 4:59 PM
Filed Under: Corporate Governance

Tyco International Ltd. CEO Edward D. Breen is stepping down from the board of Comcast Corp. after serving 6-plus years.

In a letter filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Breen said that Tyco's plans to split into three companies over the next year will keep him too busy to remain on Comcast's board.

"In addition to my day-to-day responsibilities as Tyco's chairman and CEO, I will be devoting significant time and energy over the next 12 months to the selection of new boards of directors and management teams for the three companies and to ensuring their successful luanch as independent public companies," he writes in a letter dated Nov. 3 to Comcast chairman and CEO Brian L. Roberts.

POSTED: Monday, October 17, 2011, 12:42 PM

USA Technologies Inc., a Malvern technology firm that provides electronic payment systems to vending machines, has parted ways with its longtime CEO, George R. Jensen Jr.

Jensen, 62, resigned Friday, nine days after the company suspended him over postings he made concerning USA Technologies on an Internet message board, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Jensen had been the CEO since the company was started in January 1992.

Shares of USA Technologies were down about 2.5 percent, or 3 cents, to $1.15 in trading shortly after noon.

POSTED: Friday, September 23, 2011, 8:31 AM

It may be another rough ride in the markets if widespread losses in European stock markets wash over the Atlantic again.

Once more, the worry is Greece's struggles with its sovereign debt and how badly European banks may be hurt by a possible default.

The European Commission on Friday also said it was extending its review of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries' pending acquisition of Cephalon, the Frazer-based biopharmaceutical company. Bloomberg News reports the new deadline is Oct. 13 and that Teva -- which has North American headquarters in North Wales, Pa. -- had offered "remedies to allay possible competition concerns." No word on what those remedies may be.

POSTED: Wednesday, May 25, 2011, 8:00 PM

It seems odd for the U.S. Small Business Administration to hand out awards to big businesses just because they play well with small business.

But if it wasn’t for the Dwight D. Eisenhower Award for Excellence, the Philadelphia area wouldn’t have any winners among the national awards issued during last week’s National Small Business Week.

Amec Earth & Environmental Inc., of Plymouth Meeting, received the Eisenhower award in the services category. That office is part of Amec P.L.C., a London-based engineering and project-management company that had 2010 revenue of 2.95 billion pounds, or $4.5 billion.

POSTED: Monday, May 16, 2011, 11:30 AM

It’s great to see Azavea Inc. and Stroll L.L.C., both of Philadelphia, make the Inner City 100 list again.

That’s an annual ranking by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City of the fastest-growing companies in urban cores where the unemployment and poverty rates are higher than the surrounding region.

Stroll, an online direct-response retailer of personal-development audio books with offices at 1600 John F. Kennedy Blvd., ranked No. 25. Azavea, a Web software developer at 340 N. 12th St., placed No. 48. Both appeared on the 2010 list; Azavea made the cut in 2009, too, when it was known as Avencia.

POSTED: Wednesday, May 4, 2011, 8:49 AM
Filed Under: Corporate Governance

We’re in the thick of annual shareholder meeting season.

I counted 62 meetings in May involving companies either based in the Philadelphia area or with significant operations here. Here are some of the more notable shareholder get-togethers for the rest of this week:

  • Penn Virginia Corp., the natural gas and oil exploration and production company, will amble down the road from its Radnor headquarters for its meeting at the Radnor Hotel, 591 E. Lancaster Ave., Wednesday at 10 a.m.
  • United Parcel Service Inc. delivers its state of the mailroom address at the Hotel du Pont, 11th & Market streets, Wilmington, Thursday at 8 a.m.
  • Sunoco Inc. will refine its message at the Moore College of Art & Design at 20th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway Thursday at 9:30 a.m.
  • American Water Works Co. Inc. will gush about its recent year at the Wyndham Hotel, 1111 Route 73 North, Mount Laurel, on Friday at 10 a.m.
  • Finally, Abington Bancorp Inc. shareholders will gather for the last time at the Huntingdon Valley Country Club on Friday at 10 a.m. to approve the acquisition of the $1.17 billion-asset bank holding company by Susquehanna Bancshares Inc.
About this blog
Mike Armstrong blogs about Philadelphia corporations and business-related topics. Contact him at 215-854-2980. Reach Mike at marmstrong@phillynews.com.

Mike Armstrong Inquirer Columnist
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