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Hat trick…

The proxy that Novell (NOVL) filed on Friday reveals some pretty unhappy shareholders, including Ca l P E R S , the large California pension fund that has long been active in shareholder issues. This year, there are 3 proposals compared with last year when there was none. CalPERS’ proposal would require the board of directors to make 75% of senior executives’ equity compensation performance based. In its supporting statement, CalPERS notes that in 2002, when Novell stock fell by more than 34% and the company lost $246 million, Chairman and CEO Jack Messman still walked away with a hefty bonus of $970,000. In 2003, Messman didn’t receive a bonus and his salary remained roughly the same as in 2002 at around $950,000. CalPERS isn’t the only one suggesting that Novell’s directors need to be a bit more on the ball. Both the Massachusetts Laborers’ Pension Fund and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters Fund have also submitted shareholder proposals seeking changes at Novell. In its response, Novell’s board recommends voting against all three proposals.