Massey Energy Co. shareholders on Wednesday approved sweeping corporate governance reforms, including requiring annual election of directors, that were supported by CalPERS and other major public pension funds to strengthen corporate accountability following an April explosion at a company coal mine in West Virginia that killed 29 miners.
Receiving the required 80% of votes for passage at the special meeting were proposals calling for declassifying the board of directors; and removing supermajority vote provisions related to stockholder amendment of bylaws and stockholder approval of certain business.
In addition, a proposal to give stockholders the right to request special meetings received the required majority vote for adoption.
A proposal to eliminate cumulative voting, while approved by 74% of the vote, fell under the required 80% for passage, a statement said.
The proposals were all sponsored by Massey.
The $210.7 billion California Public Employees' Retirement System, Sacramento, was joined in support of the proposals by the $65.3 billion North Carolina Retirement Systems, Raleigh; $124.8 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund, Albany; and $22.8 billion Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds, Hartford.