HP survivor finally flees the board

Long-time director Larry Babbio has finally left the boardroom of the maker of expensive printer ink, HP.

Babbio has announced, along with fellow directors Sari Baldauf and Dominique Senequier, that he will not stand for reelection at an upcoming shareholders’ meeting on March 21.

His exit is quite significant because he has been warming a seat in the HP boardroom since 2002. He managed to survive the infamous wire-tapping incident in 2005, when a scandal involving eavesdropping on directors and journalists forced then-Chairwoman Patricia Dunn to resign.

Both Babbio and Baldauf were part of a board that presided over the company during the so-called “pretexting” scandal.

Babbio was a vice chairman and president of Verizon Communications and came onto the board when HP bought Compaq. He saw the removal of Carly Fiorina, the acquisition of EDS, the buyout of Palm for $1.2 billion and the bidding war with Dell over 3Par. He has also seen more CEOs rule the company and some high-profile sackings.

The board has been slammed for allowing HP to suffer over the years and in the last 12 months has seen a number of high profile exits.

There have been six new directors, including chief exec Meg Whitman and investor Ralph Whitworth, principal of Relational Investors.

Last year, of the 13 directors re-elected to HP’s board last March, 10 joined the board in 2009 or later.