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Two More Will Allow Investors To Nominate Directors

Taub Stephen | February 1, 2005

Talk about understatements. When $8.3 billion Ashland Inc. last week announced it had settled a class action lawsuit with the Central Laborers’ Pension Fund, it stated in a press release that it agreed to certain “modifications” of its corporate governance policies.

Those slight modifications amount to the most radical governance changes a Fortune 500 company has ever agreed to; they’re also among the most aggressive series of compromises agreed to by any company in the U.S.

Ashland matter-of-factly said in its press release it agreed to require that two-thirds of the company's board be comprised of only independent directors. While that requirement is in keeping with most trends, the company also stated that it agreed to solicit director candidates from major shareholders, and to nominate a qualified candidate for election to the board.

The move comes as...

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