Bit by bit…

October 20, 2004

Each year, Maxim Integrated (MXIM) seems to provide a bit more information in its proxies on family members who are on the payroll. In the most recent proxy, they disclose that four children of executives and/or directors worked for the company in 2004. In 2003, it was three, in 2002 it was two, and in 2001, they disclosed just one, the son-in-law of the CEO. Now while some of these may be new hires, the company’s previous disclosures suggest otherwise. All the way back in 1997, the company disclosed that Robert Bergman, the son of a director, was working for the company. But Bergman did not reappear in the proxies until 2002. Perhaps he had a different job during those years: in 1997, he made $37,848 and when he resurfaced in the proxies, he was making $92,523. Or perhaps the company is realizing that it makes sense to provide full disclosure on these deals. Either way, a company with a market cap of $13 billion, should not be run like my local dry-cleaning store. If Maxim wants to continue hiring relatives, investors deserve full disclosure.

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