Calpers Pension Fund Sets Sights On Midway's Board

The California Public Employees' Retirement System, also known as Calpers, today released its annual list of corporate America's poorest performers, and on that short list of six companies was Midway Games.
Calpers is the largest pension in the country, with $131-billion in assets, which owns a piece of over 1800 companies and is closely monitored by corporations. The pension fund uses this list as a stick to bring about management changes at poorly performing public companies -- particularly at the corporate board level. Calpers cited Midway as having one of "the most ineffective boards," during a time in which Midway's stock has lost over 77 percent for the five-year period ended Dec. 31, 2002 compared to its benchmark which lost 16 percent. Also on Calpers' list was Xerox, Gemstar-TV Guide, JDS Uniphase, Manugistics Group and Parametric Technology. According to Midway's annual report released last year (the most recent available), here is its board of directors:
  • Neil Nicastro. He is also Midway's President, COO, Chairman of the Board and CEO.
  • William Bartholomay. He is the President of Near North National Group, insurance brokers in Chicago. He is the Vice Chairman of Turner Broadcasting System, a division of AOL-Time Warner, and is also Chairman of the Board of the Atlanta Braves.
  • Norman Menell, Vice Chairman of the Board of WMS since 1990 and is a director of WMS. (Until October 29, 1996, Midway was wholly owned by WMS Industries.)
  • Louis Nicastro, the former President and CEO of WMS. He also served as Chairman of the Board and CEO of WHG Resorts & Casinos. He also served as Midway's Chairman of the Board, CEO, and President.
  • Kenneth Fedesna has been Midway's Executive Vice President—Product Development and was the company's Executive Vice President—Coin-Op Video until May 2000. He also served as Vice President and General Manager of Williams Electronics Games, a subsidiary of WMS.
  • William McKenna who was a General Partner of MCK Investment Company, Beverly Hills, California. He also is a director of Drexler Technology Corporation and WMS.
  • Harvey Reich, a member of the law firm of Robinson Brog Leinwand Greene Genovese & Gluck, P.C., New York, NY. He is a director of WMS.
  • Ira Sheinfeld has been a member of the law firm of Hogan & Hartson L.L.P., New York, New York. He is a director of WMS.
  • Harold Bach served as Midway's CFO and an Executive VP until he retired. Bach formerly served as VP—Finance and CFO of WMS. Bach was a partner at Ernst & Young.
  • Richard White, a Managing Director of CIBC Capital Partners, New York, New York. White is also a director of Vestcom International.
  • Gerald Sweeney, who is a member of the law firm Lord, Bissell & Brook, Chicago, Illinois.
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