Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) launched an internal Center of Excellence for Corporate Governance earlier this year to initiate a deeper understanding of the importance of governance.
Speaking to Corporate Secretary at the Corporate Governance Awards, Derek Windham, the company’s vice president and associate general counsel, explained that the governance team has had crucial support from senior management and the board.
‘[We’ve been] working with the chair of our board and the CEO on our initiatives and their view on corporate governance,’ Windham said. ‘There’s been a great reception on the part of Antonio Neri [HPE’s CEO and president]. He participated in the launch of the Center of Excellence and at our senior leaders’ meeting in Miami earlier this year: he had a sit-down with Pat Russo, the chair of the board, as one of the keynotes. I thought that was very significant.’
Windham was nominated for the governance professional of the year (large cap) award at the Corporate Governance Awards. HPE was also nominated for governance team of the year (large cap) and best proxy statement (large cap).
One of the many achievements Windham’s team was praised for was the work it did around ensuring consistency of governance standards across its subsidiary businesses – of which Windham says there are almost 1,000.
‘We really wanted to have the same consistent high level of governance standards at the parent level as at all of our subsidiaries,’ he said. ‘Of course, that takes a high level of co-ordination because there are local counsel and obviously local regulatory systems and different directors at the various subsidiaries around the world. It’s taken a really co-ordinated effort among our team.’
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