- Associated Press - Thursday, August 12, 2010

ROUND ROCK, TEXAS (AP) - Dell Inc. shareholders voted Thursday to reject a union proposal that shareholders be given an “advisory” vote on pay for Dell executives, and re-elected CEO Michael Dell to the board.

The executive compensation proposal was put forward by the AFL-CIO Reserve Fund. Several other companies have passed similar measures, which give shareholders a symbolic role in approving compensation plans.

Dell shareholders also turned down a proposal to reimburse certain expenses for shareholders who want to put up their own candidate for the board of directors. That proposal came from the pension plan managers of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

The labor groups had also wanted to strip Michael Dell of his position as chairman, in the wake of charges that the company pumped up its earnings reports with undisclosed payments from chip maker Intel Corp.

The shareholder meeting had been delayed from July 16, when Dell said it had proposed a settlement to the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission over those charges. Dell said it wanted to give shareholders a chance to consider the settlement, which was completed later that month.

Dell paid $100 million to settle the civil charges, and CEO Michael Dell agreed to pay a separate $4 million civil penalty. The settlement culminated a five-year SEC investigation.

The company and Michael Dell neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing. But they did agree to refrain from future violations of the securities laws. The company also agreed to improve its disclosure process by hiring an outside consultant and expanding its training of employees.

Dell, based in Round Rock, Texas, is the world’s third-largest PC maker behind Hewlett-Packard Co. and Taiwan’s Acer Inc. Shares fell 11 cents to close at $11.99.

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