Washington Mutual Inc. shareholders are being urged by CtW Investment Group to vote against the re-election of directors Mary E. Pugh and James H. Stever.
Ms. Pugh, chair of the finance committee, and Mr. Stever, chair of the human resources committee both of which are charged with risk management oversight and compensation plan design bear responsibility for Washington Mutuals failure to recognize and act in a timely manner on the risks to shareholder value presented by the housing bubble, and for attempting to insulate executive bonuses from the consequences of this risk management failure, said a letter e-mailed to 30 to 50 of the largest shareholders. Richard W. Clayton III, CtW research director, said the group also is mailing the letter to about 80% of the companys shareholders. CtW Investment Group works on shareholder issues with pension funds sponsored by labor unions affiliated with Change to Win, a coalition of unions. Washington Mutuals annual meeting is April 15.
Libby Hutchinson, Washington Mutual senior vice president and manager public relations, said in a statement, Three directors and our CEO met with CtW at length to demonstrate the boards active engagement in formulating and overseeing managements implementation of credit policy. In addition, the directors clearly communicated in the companys proxy statement and reiterated to CtW in the meeting that WaMus 2008 executive compensation plans will pay for performance and align executive compensation with increased shareholder value.