Proxy by Proxy

Meister, the Carl Icahn protégé whose Corvex Management owns about 4 percent of $21 billion Williams, said on Monday that he plans to put forward 10 of his own employees to serve on the board. If voted in, they would be replaced by independent directors that Corvex intends to identify before shareholders submit their ballots on Nov. 23. This bizarre – and maybe even unprecedented – maneuver seems par for the course at Williams, which recently announced plans to add three new independent directors. Under Chief Executive Alan Armstrong, the company had been trying to collapse its byzantine financial structure by absorbing its master limited partnership. Then Energy Transfer Equity came along with a takeover bid that Williams resisted for some time. Ultimately, Armstrong caved and accepted the $33 billion offer.

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