CalPERS officials put Xerox Corp., Stamford, Conn., on its 2003 corporate governance focus list, blasting officials for their "slow and insular response to the companys accounting scandal and failure to bring in "new blood on the board.
Officials at the $134 billion California Public Employees Retirement System, Sacramento, called on Xerox to add three independent directors and split the roles of chairman and CEO, now both held by Anne Mulcahy. Ted White, director, corporate governance, wrote to Ms. Mulcahy that CalPERS was troubled that Xerox is still run by the same leadership, pointing to two-year-old comments from KPMG, Xeroxs former auditor, about the tone set by senior management.
Christa Carone, Xerox spokeswoman, said Xerox had taken major strides in the corporate governance area, noting that six of the firms eight board members were independent. She also said the board selects its chairman, and there is "no intention of separating the roles of chairman and CEO. Ms. Carone added that there have been major changes in Xeroxs top management: Ms. Mulcahy was named CEO in August 2001 and chairman in January 2002, and senior financial officials are being replaced by outsiders.
CalPERS officials also put Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc., JDS Uniphase Corp., Manugistics Group Inc., Midway Games Inc. and Parametric Technology on the focus list.