Rage against the machine…

February 16, 2005

Why are Checkfree (CKFR) investors so ticked off at Microsoft (MSFT)? Well, at least the Microsoft executive who sits on Checkfree’s board. At Checkfree’s annual meeting back in late October, Checkfree shareholders came close to giving board member Lewis Levin the boot, according to the voting results released in Checkfree’s recent Q. Levin. who is Microsoft’s vice president for Business Intellingence Applications, has been a board member ever since Checkfree acquired Microsoft joint-venture TransPoint back in 2000. While Levin still won re-election to the board, more than 33 million votes were withheld, out of 83 million cast. Levin does sit on the corporate goverance committee which does deal with compensation issues, but so does board member Jeffrey Wilkins and only 2 million votes were withheld for him. So what has Checkfree investors so ticked off? Perhaps it was Levin’s attendance record — he missed two of the board’s five meetings last year. Or maybe it’s because he owns fewer shares than any other director. Or maybe investors are still ticked off about the TransPoint deal.

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