A Corporate Gadfly Buzzes Away

Corporate CEOs and boards can breathe a sigh of relief: The activist shareholder rights group, United Shareholders Assn., is closing its doors. Corporate raider T. Boone Pickens Jr. founded the group in 1986, at the height of merger mania, to use regulatory reform to end the abuse of shareholders. Under President Ralph Whitworth, the group made waves with its annual list of companies that pay the least attention to shareholders' concerns. Dozens of companies changed board structures and executive-pay plans to stay off the list. Whitworth says USA is disbanding because its job is done. He may be heading off to raise money for a fund that invests in shareholder-friendly companies.

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