answers critics of online shareholder meeting
3 November 2010
were overlooked due to technical fault, says security and storage vendor
Last month, security
software vendor Symantec became the first Fortune 500 company to hold an
online only shareholders meeting.
That decision proved to be controversial, with at least one investor
complaining that a question they submitted had been ignored. Concerns were
also raised that it was not possible to see which executives were in
attendance, as there was no video feed.
Yesterday, the Reuters new agency reported that Symantec’s chairman John
Thomson said some questions were overlooked due to technical glitches.
“To our surprise, after the meeting ended, we discovered that there was a
time lag that occurred that caused a delay in Symantec seeing additional
questions submitted due to vendor network and technology reasons," he wrote
in a letter to the Shareholder Forum.
Broadridge Financial Solutions, whose technology was used to conduct the
online meeting, denies that any such fault occurred. "If there had been a
problem with our technology for Symantec's meeting, we'd have addressed it
then,” it said in a statement.
Thomson wrote in his letter that the company is now investigating ways to
allow for greater shareholder participation in future online meetings. “We
recognize the importance of hearing from stockholders in their own words and
will implement a format that gives stockholders that opportunity,” he says.