Longs' Ballot Results Disputed

Saint Mary's College economics professor Andrew Williams is quoted in a Contra Costa Times story about an initiative to split the CEO and chairman roles at Longs Drug Stores Corp. More than one-third of the shareholders voted in favor of the unsuccessful proposal, which was initiated by anti-tobacco activists.

"It's pretty uncommon to have such a large vote to split CEO and chairman roles," said Williams.

"It's definitely the way the winds are blowing," said Williams, who is co-author of "The Rise of Fiduciary Capitalism: How Institutional Investors Can Make Corporate America More Democratic." "The feeling is the responsibility of the board is to monitor management, and when the chief manager…is also the chairman of the board, it presents the possibility of a conflict of interest."

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