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Company also amends corporate governance guidelines
American Water Works Company, Inc., a U.S. water and wastewater utility company, announced that its board of directors has amended the company's bylaws regarding the election of directors.
The amended bylaws adopt a majority voting standard, commencing with the company's 2011 annual meeting of stockholders. In conjunction with the amendment of the bylaws, the company amended its corporate governance guidelines to require that a director offer resign if the number of votes cast "against" his or her election exceeds votes cast "for" the candidate in an uncontested election. Within 90 days from the date of the certification of the election results, the board will decide whether to accept any such resignation and publicly disclose its decision.
"American Water and its board of directors are committed to the highest standards regarding corporate governance," said George MacKenzie, chairman of the board of American Water. "The amendment increases the board's accountability and gives our stockholders a stronger voice in the company."
Due to recent changes in American Water's board related to the divestiture by RWE, the majority vote standard will be effective for the election of directors at the company's 2011 annual meeting of stockholders. American Water's board of directors consists of eight members, seven of whom are independent under applicable Securities and Exchange Commission rules and listing standards of the New York Stock Exchange.