Texas Campaign for the Environment: News
Austin Business Journal , July 13, 2012 By Christopher Calnan
Dell board member targeted at stockholders meeting
A Dell Inc. board member became the unwanted focus of attention during the company’s annual stockholders meeting in Round Rock Friday.
About 15 environmental advocates wore T-shirts (pictured) to the Dell Inc. shareholders meeting bearing a photo of Breyer and a message. The group wants him to respond to requests for an electronic waste return program at Wal-Mart stores.
James Breyer, a board member since 2009, was criticized by one shareholder for an alleged lack of attention to Dell while serving on several other company boards. He was also cited during the meeting by the Texas Campaign for the Environment for being unresponsive to requests for an electronic waste return program at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT), where Breyer is the board’s presiding director.
CEO Michael Dell defended Breyer's performance on Dell’s board and suggested that the Austin-based environmental group address its concerns at Wal-Mart’s annual meeting instead of Dell’s.
However, Robin Schneider, executive director of the Texas Campaign for the Environment, said she had attended Wal-Mart’s stockholders meeting last month. The group is advocating that Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) take the same approach to recycling used electronics as Best Buy Co. Inc.
Following Schneider’s request to Dell’s board, about 15 environmental advocates stood up wearing T-shirts bearing a photo of Breyer and the words, “Help us Jim Breyer ... you’re our only hope.”
Breyer, who receives annual compensation of more than $300,000 from Dell, serves on the boards of directors of News Corp., Facebook Inc., and San Francisco-based Prosper Marketplace Inc. He is also a partner of Accel Partners, a California-based venture capital firm, and the founder of investment firm Breyer Capital.
Breyer is a co-founder of IDG-Accel China Funds and has served as co-lead on the company’s strategic investment committee since its inception in 2005, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Dell, the No. 3 computer maker in the world, employs an estimated 14,000 workers in Central Texas.
For the first quarter, which ended May 4, the company posted a $635 million profit on $14.4 billion in revenue, compared with a $945 million profit on $15 billion in revenue during the same period last year.