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CalPERS criticizes 11 firms over corporate governance

CalPERS criticizes 11 firms over corporate governance

by Toby Lucich on March 20, 2007

It’s not quite true that nobody doesn’t like Sara Lee — or at least the company’s stock performance and corporate governance practices. The food giant has run afoul of the nation’s largest public pension fund.

So have Eli Lilly, insurance broker Marsh & McLennan and eight other companies.

In its annual list of corporate laggards, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System on Thursday cast a wide net this year.

The activist fund chided the public companies for underperforming their industry rivals on Wall Street, having entrenched corporate boards or refusing to adopt practices that give shareholders more sway.

“It’s time for these 11 companies on the list to step up to the plate, be accountable and face their shareowners. They have some of the worst governance practices in corporate America,” said Rob Feckner, CalPERs board president, during a conference call Thursday. “Good governance helps the bottom line.”

CalPERS criticizes 11 firms over corporate governance

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