Evelyn’s revenge….

After nearly six years, Lucent Technologies (LU) has finally given in to one of the company’s most persistent critics. In its proxy filed yesterday, the company recommended that shareholders vote for a proposal that would require Lucent directors to stand for re-election every year. It’s a 180-degree turn for the company. Since 1998, when shareholder rights advocate Evelyn Y. Davis first introduced a similar proposal, Lucent has opposed the move, even though for the past three years, a majority of shareholders voted in favor of what’s known as de-classifying the board. One other interesting thing about Lucent’s proxy: they break down in much greater detail than other companies do their audit fees, so that investors can see that fees related to SEC filings doubled in 2003 and that consulting services went from $6.8 million in 2002 to zero in 2003.