The biggest votes against directors


December 6, 2015

Incumbent directors in Australia average around 96% of votes when they are up for re-election. Here is a slightly dated list of directors who received a protest vote exceeding 10%.



Trevor Gerber - Valad Property Group 2008

Final Vote: For 88% and 12% against
See ASX voting results here.

Bob Seidler - Valad Property Group 2008

Final Vote: For 86% and 14% against
See ASX voting results here.

Pat Goodman - Goodman Group 2008
Final Vote: For 80% and 19% against
See ASX voting results here.

James Hodgkinson
- Goodman Group 2008
Final Vote: For 83% and 16% against
See ASX voting results here.

Ian Ferrier -
Goodman Group 2009
Final Vote: For 64% and 35% against
See ASX voting results here.

Jim Sloman - Goodman Group 2009
Final Vote: For 57% and 42% against
See ASX voting results here.

Anna Buduls - Centro Properties 2009
Final Vote: For 68% and 31% against
See ASX voting results here.


Graham Goldie - Centro Retail 2007
Final Vote: For 89% and 10% against
See ASX voting results here.

Jim Hall - Centro Retail 2007
Final Vote: For 89% and 10% against
See ASX voting results here.

Sam Kavourakis - Centro Retail 2006
Final Vote: For 87% and 13% against
See ASX voting results here.

Peter Wilkinson - Centro Retail 2006
Final Vote: For 87% and 13% against
See ASX voting results here.

Chris Anderson - Publishing and Broadcasting 2007
Final Vote: For 88% and 10% against
See ASX voting results here.

Michael Johnson - Consolidated Media Holdings 2008

Primary Vote: For 81% and 17% against
Final Vote: For 82% and 17% against
See ASX voting results here.

Kevin Luscombe - APN News & Media 2005
Final Vote: For 87% and 11% against
See ASX voting results here.


Anthony O'Reilly - APN News & Media 2005
Final Vote: For 82% and 16% against
See ASX voting results here.

James Parkinson - APN News & Media 2005
Final Vote: For 81% and 17% against
See ASX voting results here.

Wilson Whineray - APN News & Media 2005
Final Vote: For 87% and 12% against
See ASX voting results here.

Donal Buggy - APN News & Media 2006
Final Vote: For 86% and 12% against
See ASX voting results here.

Peter Cosgrove - APN News & Media 2007
Final Vote: For 69% and 29% against
See ASX voting results here.

Ted Harris - APN News & Media 2007
Final Vote: For 73% and 26% against
See ASX voting results here.



Liam Healy- APN News & Media 2007
Final Vote: For 76% and 22% against
See ASX voting results here.

Kevin Luscombe - APN News & Media 2007
Final Vote: For 83% and 16% against
See ASX voting results here.

Cameron O'Reilly
- APN News & Media 2008
Final Vote: For 70% and 29% against
See ASX voting results here.

Peter Cosgrove - APN News & Media 2009
Final Vote: For 76% and 22% against
See ASX voting results here.

Donal Buggy - APN News & Media 2009
Final Vote: For 76% and 22% against
See ASX voting results here.

Vincent Crowley - APN News & Media 2009
Final Vote: For 70% and 28% against
See ASX voting results here.




Robin Holyman - Gunns 2007
Primary Vote: For 72% and 17% against
Final Vote: For 83% and 16% against
See ASX voting results here.

Robin Gray - Gunns 2009
Primary Vote: For 85% and 11% against
Final Vote: For 80% and 20% against
See ASX voting results here.

Fred Hilmer - Westfield 2007
Final Vote: For 83% and 16% against
See ASX voting results here.

Gary Weiss - Westfield 2007
Final Vote: For 81% and 17% against
See ASX voting results here.

David Gonski - Westfield 2008
Final Vote: For 88% and 11% against
See ASX voting results here.


David Lowy - Westfield 2008
Final Vote: For 88% and 10% against
See ASX voting results here.

Stephen Johns - Westfield 2009
Final Vote: For 64% and 34% against
See ASX voting results here.

Colin Jackson - Sonic Healthcare 2006
Final Vote: For 65% and 22% against
See ASX voting results here.

Philip Dubois - Sonic Healthcare 2007
Final Vote: For 63% and 28% against
See ASX voting results here.

Hugh Scotton - Sonic Healthcare 2007
Final Vote: For 61% and 29% against
See ASX voting results here.


Chris Wilks - Sonic Healthcare 2008
Final Vote: For 58% and 39% against
See ASX voting results here.

Colin Jackson - Sonic Healthcare 2009
Final Vote: For 77% and 21% against
See ASX voting results here.

Ryan stokes - Seven Network 2009
Final Vote: For 70% and 27% against
See ASX voting results here.

Craig Oliver - Western Areas
2009
Final Vote: For 48% and 35% against
See ASX voting results for resolution 5 here.

Cameron O'Reilly - APN News & Media 2010
Final Vote: For 58% and 41% against
See ASX voting results here.

David Clarke - AMP 2009
Quit the AMP board shortly before the 2009 AGM knowing that his baggage as the last CEO of Allco Finance Group which almost certainly lead to defeat - see result here.

Meredith Hellicar - AMP 2009
Quit the AMP board shortly before the 2009 AGM after an adverse Supreme Court judgment for her conduct as a James Hardie director - see results here.

Peter Kerr - Tattersall's 2005
Quit the board two days before the AGM when facing certain defeat - see results here.

Institutional shareholders embraced two outside candidates, Mike Vertigan and Julien Playoust, and were outraged that a couple of the incumbent directors were suing for a $100 millon payout when the gaming giant was still a private trust.


John Cassidy - Hills Motorway 2004
Quit the board three days before the AGM when facing certain defeat but the company came up with these laughable excuses.

Institutions felt he wasn't independent given his role as a former managing director of construction company Abigroup.

John Ducker - Aristocrat 2004
As ABC radio's PM program reported, the former Labor strongman and company chairman didn't turn up at the AGM when he received just 2.7 million votes in favour and a massive 130 million against. Check out the results here, but remember that the rest of the directors had disowned Ducker by then, recommending a vote against.

Solly Lew - Coles Myer 2002
Primary Vote: For 45% and 55% against
Final Vote: For 38% and 62% against
Solly was disendorsed by the board and also forgot to vote his considerable proxies.
See ASX voting results here.

This was the classic Boardroom showdown which Lew lost quite badly (institutions thought 18 years was long enough and generally backed the Wallis faction), notwithstanding his extensive efforts to increase his shareholdings and 'rent' shares in the lead up to the AGM.

Mark Leibler - Coles Myer 2002
Primary Vote: For 49.7% and 50.3% against
Final Vote: For 52.0% and 48.0% against
See ASX voting results here.

Leibler was a supporter of Lew and received quite a shareholder backlash. Only chairman Rick Allert's acceptance of Lew's proxies, after the polls had officially closed, ensured Leibler stumbled over the line. See the special ASX announcement regarding this decision here.

David Ryan - Transurban 2008
Primary Vote: For 61.2% and 42.8% against
Final Vote: For 66% and 34% against
See ASX voting results here.
Despite being the chairman of ABC Learning when it collapsed and chair of the audit committee for the previous 6 years, the major institutional shareholders let him off the hook.



Maurice James - Patrick Corporation 2005
Primary Vote: For 64.56% and 35.44% against
Passed on a show of hands so no poll - add link to results.

This reflected a backlash from institutional shareholders, encouraged by proxy advisor ISS, against excessive numbers of executive directors on boards.

David Cooper - Australia Growth Properties 2003
Primary Vote: For 64.9% and 35.1% against
Final Vote: For 62.5% and 37.5% against
See ASX voting results here.

Guiness Peat related dissident shareholders ran a campaign against Cooper (and also McGeogh below) in the light of poor company performance and questionable management agreement practices. Only the support of 50.1% majority shareholder Trans-Tasman Properties prevented Cooper and McGeogh being booted from the board. Excluding TTP's 151m shares, over 90% of minority shareholders voted against Cooper.

David Asimus - BHP 1998
Primary Vote: For 69.5% and 30.5% against
Final Vote: For 87.0% and 13.0% against
See ASX voting results here.

Asimus appears to have borne the brunt of shareholder and institutional anger over various problems BHP was experiencing in 1998, namely the infamous $3.2 billion acquisition of Magma Copper. The controversy claimed the scalp of chairman Jerry Ellis who announced his resignation (sending BHP's share price soaring 48c).

Rod McGeogh - Australia Growth Properties 2003
Primary Vote: For 70.9% and 29.1% against
Final Vote: For 68.3% and 31.7% against
See ASX voting results here.

See David Cooper above on this list. Excluding TTP's 151m shares, over 75% of minority shareholders voted against McGeogh who would have been booted if not for the majority shareholder support.

David Ryan - Lend Lease 2008
Proxies: 181.4m in favour and 70.9m against
28% protest vote because of his record as chairman of ABC Learning audit committee.
See ASX voting results


Barry Cusack - McMahon Holdings 2008
Proxies: 223.5m for and 81.4m against (26.6%)
see results
Institutions targeted him after the outrage of Owen Hegarty's $8.4m payout at Oz Minerals.

Dick Warburton - David Jones 2002
Primary Vote: For 75% and 25% against
Final Vote: For 75% and 25% against
See ASX voting results here.

Warburton faced an onslaught from the ASA and other shareholders concerned at his performance and other extensive director duties.

Geoffrey Counsins - Telstra AGM 2006
Primary Vote: For 12.2% and against 87.8%
Final Vote: For 81.5% and 21.5% against
See ASX voting results here.

Lord Killearn - AMP 2003
Primary Vote: For 80% and 20% against
Final Vote: For 81% and 19% against
See ASX voting results here.

UK-based director who (together with Grellman) was one of the directors who presided over AMP's multi-billion UK disaster.

Richard Grellman - AMP 2003
Primary Vote: For 81% and 19% against
Final Vote: For 82% and 18% against
See ASX voting results here.

Chairman of AMP's atrocious audit committee that oversaw billions of dollars of losses in UK disaster and several huge surprise writedowns.

James Strong - IAG 2008
Proxies: For 80.66%, against 19.34%
Poll result: For 81.58%, against 18.42%
See voting results here.
Shareholders were upset that IAG refused to engage with QBE's takeover initiative, plus the long-term poor performance

Stan Wallis - 2002 AMP
Primary Vote: For 87.7% and 12.3% against
Final Vote: Not available.
See ASX voting results here.

One of Australia's busiest chairmen and also held accountable for AMP's poor performance and the excessive multi-million dollar fees paid out to failed chief executives.


Geoffrey Cousins - NRMA 2002
Primary Vote: For 88% and 12% against
Final Vote: For 89% and 11% against
See ASX voting results here.

Probably because the Whitlam-influenced mutual voted against him.

Marcia Griffin - PMP 2001
Primary Vote: For 89.49% and 10.51% against
Final Vote 89.17% and against 10.82%
See ASX voting results here.

Rowan Ross - NRMA 2002
Primary Vote: For 89% and 11% against
Final Vote: For 90% and 10% against
See ASX voting results here.

Again probably because the Whitlam-influenced mutual voted against him.

Nick Whitlam - NRMA Insurance 2000
Primary Vote: For 89% and 11% against
Final Vote: Not available.

A significant backlash against arrogant director Whitlam. See Crikey's analysis (including details of Stephen Mayne's tilt) here.

Aatos Erkko - News Corp 2002
Primary Vote: For 89% and 11% against
Final Vote: Not available.
See ASX voting results here.

The cancer-stricken director from Finland had a poor attendance record which attracted a no vote recommendation from proxy advisor Corporate Governance International.

Don Morris - PMP 2001
Primary Vote: For 89.99% and 10.01% against
Final Vote: For 90.4% and 9.6% against
See ASX voting results here.

Nick Greiner - Coles Myer 1996
Primary Vote: For 89-92% and 8-11% against (approx)
Final Vote: ASX records not available.

Greiner had 129m proxies voted against him by the Myer family who owned 8% of the retailer and who did not appreciate Greiner's handling of relationships between the Board and large shareholders. Exact voting records are not available but it is likely this pushed the former NSW premier below 90%. Considering the protest vote against Solly Lew over Yannon at the same AGM was only 89m votes, this was a big blow to Greiner. The Australian reported that when asked if he was chastened by the size of the negative vote he attracted, Greiner said: "Your humour is obviously undiminished at this hour of the afternoon."

# The primary vote refers to the active proxy votes (ie for or against) cast by shareholders. It does not take into account open or undirected proxies or abstentions.


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