ABB shareholders approve annual accounts 2001

Approve discharge of board members and no dividend payment for 2001; company focuses on increased transparency and corporate governance

Zurich, Switzerland, March 12, 2002 – At its annual general meeting today, shareholders of ABB Ltd approved annual accounts, the proposal to pay no dividend for 2001, the discharge of its board of directors and acknowledged the proposal not to reduce share capital.

ABB’s annual general meeting took place in Zurich-Oerlikon, Switzerland. It was held in German and translated into English for live broadcast over the Internet and translated into Swedish for shareholders from Sweden. A total of 2,212 shareholders were present at the meeting, representing some 49.3 percent of the total share capital entitled to vote.

Jürgen Dormann, chairman of ABB’s board of directors, ran the meeting alongside ABB president and CEO Jörgen Centerman and ABB’s chief legal counsel Beat Hess. After some criticism of the board’s performance in recent years, shareholders voted to discharge board members individually.

The discharge included board members not standing for reelection – Percy Barnevik, Robert Jeker, Gerhard Cromme and Edwin Somm. The board passed on condolences with regards to board member Agostino Rocca, who died in a plane crash during 2001.

Shareholders also voted to reelect Jürgen Dormann, Jörgen Centerman, Martin Ebner and Jacob Wallenberg. They voted to elect four new board members: Roger Agnelli, Hans Ulrich Maerki, Michel de Rosen and Bernd W. Voss.

Speaking about the reassessment of the pensions and benefits of former ABB CEOs Percy Barnevik and Göran Lindahl, Dormann said: “The board of directors takes the view that it has dealt with this extremely regrettable incident openly and single-mindedly, to the best of its knowledge and belief, and in the performance of its duties.

“At the same time the board of directors regrets that the matter has involved many employees in a substantially increased workload,” he continued. “But it links this with the firm conviction that ABB is now once again on a sound footing and together with the company’s many loyal employees can turn to advantage in the long term the opportunities offered by its outstanding market position.”

Acknowledging ABB’s effort to become more transparent, and in turn strengthen its commitment to corporate governance, a shareholder request for a special audit was withdrawn during the course of the meeting.

ABB shareholders took affirmative note of the board’s proposal not to reduce share capital and also voted to accept no dividend payment for 2001. ABB proposed no dividend be paid in an effort to improve the company’s equity position going forward.

Ernst & Young AG was reelected as auditors and group auditor for the financial year 2002 and OBT Treuhand AG was reelected as special auditors.

ABB ( is a global leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. ABB has 155,000 employees in more than 100 countries.

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