Larry Culp
Larry Culp

Two directors are better than one at GE... General Electric CEO Larry Culp faces an interesting shareholder proposal at the May 4 virtual annual meeting.

Shareholder Martin Harangozo is hopping mad that GE’s stock “has lost nearly all its valuation in the last two decades” while the S&P 500 about tripled in value. The Boston-based company also shaved its quarterly dividend to a penny a share.

Here’s Harangozo’s beef: “The dividend is all but gone and less than when Mr. Jack Welch became CEO in 1981. Promised benefits to retirees have been broken. Rolling heads around as Mr. John Flannery replacing Mr. Jeffrey Immelt, or Mr. Lawrence Culp Jr. replacing Flannery has had no substantial positive effect in restoring the company valuation or growing it to the broader market.”

At the very least, Harangozo hopes GE’s stock can keep up with the general stock market’s performance.

His idea is to give shareholders more of a choice in directors.

“Electing board directors where each board seat has only one option, is a laughable circus and has no performance merit as demonstrated by the General Electric stock price. A presidential election for example, with only one candidate, would be unimaginable, laughable, and void of any election merit where voters have a legitimate voice.”

Harangozo wants GE to put forth at least two candidates for every available open board seat. Do you have a twin, Larry?

Culp and company shoot down the resolution, claiming GE employs “a rigorous and thorough process for selecting the candidates” and that each board member has skills that complement each other.

GE notes Harangozo’s “unique approach” of presenting two candidates for each open board seat “is not utilized by any company in the S&P 500, may result in individual nominees being considered in isolation and, thus may produce a board of directors that fails to represent a diversity of experiences and viewpoints.”

The company claims board teamwork is the key to success. Harangozo suggests it is time to break up the team.

The Rockefeller Foundation’s Pandemic Prevention Institute is looking for a director of communications to further its mission of heading off the next COVID-19 crisis.

PPI is positioned as a global platform for rapid pathogen threat detection, evaluation, and action designed specifically to prevent pandemics.

Coordinating with governments, international health authorities, policymakers, NGOs and academics, PPI’s goal is to contain all pandemic-potential outbreaks within 100 days.

The desired communications director will develop and execute influence strategies that combine expertise in PR, campaigns, and strategy to help advance the Institute’s goals.

Curiosity, creativity and versatility, a global perspective, and a passion for innovative thinking are musts.

PPI last month made a high-profile hire, recruiting Rick Bright to head its operations.

The former Dept. of Health and Human Services Deputy Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and Director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority moved into the national spotlight last year when he quit his post to protest Team Trump’s political interference in the handling of the COVID-19 crisis.

Bright also blamed the White House for spreading inaccurate information that he said was “dangerous, reckless and causing lives to be lost.”

He can now save countless lives by using science to head off the next pandemic.