June 11, 2003

Under the leadership of board

Under the leadership of board chair Ralph Whitworth (whose day job is principal of Relational Investors, one of the few groups that have used short slates in the past decade), Apria became the 1st company to voluntarily allow shareholders to nominate directors directly (last month, Hanover Compresser did it as part of a lawsuit settlement). Holders of 5% or more will be able to nominate up to 2 directors which will be placed on the ballot opposite 9 management nominees.

In the wake of the recent actions at Freddie Mac and new revelations at WorldCom (not to mention items like E&Y classifying janitorial inspection services as “audit related” at HealthSouth), it looks like it might be an uphill battle for those that wish the SEC will “go slow” to facilitate the ability of shareholders to nominate directors.

For subscribers, we have posted an interview with Jim McRitchie and Les Greenberg regarding shareholder access for retail investors at