Hewlett-Packard's Ray Lane is stepping down as chairman amid ongoing shareholder disapproval of HP's troubled Autonomy acquisition. Lane will stay on HP's board as a director but has given up his position as chairman, HP said Thursday.
Raymond J. Lane will be replaced on an interim basis by Ralph V. Whitworth.
In addition, John H. Hammergren and G. Kennedy Thompson, after eight and seven years of service to HP stockholders, respectively, have decided to leave the board. Both directors will continue to serve until the May board meeting.
HP's board search for a permanent nonexecutive board chairman as well as
for two or more new independent directors.
"After reflecting on the stockholder vote last month, I've decided to step down as executive chairman to reduce any distraction from HP's ongoing turnaround," said Lane. "Since I joined HP's board a little over two years ago, I've been committed to board evolution to ensure our turnaround and future success. I'm proud of the board we've built and the progress we've made to date in restoring the company. I will continue to serve HP as a director and help finish the job."
The news comes after some of HP's largest shareholders tried to have Lane and other HP directors voted off the board at a meeting last month.
HP's board has been under fire for its role in approving HP's acquisition of Autonomy for about $10.3 billion in 2011. HP subsequently took a massive charge for the acquisition because, it says, Autonomy's business wasn't as healthy as it thought.