Williams Adds Three New Directors to its Board

Williams Companies on Monday added three new directors to its board as it attempts to ward off former director and current shareholder Keith Meister’s plan to replace all of Williams' board directors.

Williams announced the three new members as Pioneer Natural Resources CEO Scott Sheffield, PPL Corp CEO William Spence, and former American Midstream Partners CEO Stephen Bergstrom. The three additions bring their board to 10 directors.

Head of Corvex Keith Meister, who has doubted the quality of Williams’ board, had nominated 10 directors last week to replace Williams’ directors. Meister had been a board director until he resigned after the board refused to oust Williams’ current CEO Alan Armstrong back in June.

Meister disagreed with steps the company was taking after its failed merger with Energy Transfer in June and promised to pressure the company despite his absence on the board. Corvex is Williams’ fourth-largest shareholder.

Don Bilson, head of event-driven research at Gordon Haskett, said it is now to be determined if Williams’ new board will meet Corvex’s approval and lighten the Meisters’ own recruitment burden.