GE Shareholders Vote Down Director Independence

April 26, 2001 ( - Shareholders of General Electric (GE) voted against two shareholder proposals, including one backed by many GE pensioners at its annual meeting.

The first proposal called for a majority of directors to be neither current nor former GE employees, nor have any professional or financial ties to the company.

The proposal had received the backing of GE pensioners demanding more money from the company’s overfunded $49 billion pension fund in addition to mandatory annual cost-of-living increases. The proposal, opposed by GE, lost but drew nearly a third of the votes (31.2%).

GE shareholders also voted against a proposal requiring at least two nominees for every board seat, the measure garnered only 3.5% of the stockholder vote.