Along with affirming its previously announced new senior management team with CEO Steve Baum’s retirement next month, San Diego-based Sempra Energy’s board of directors last Wednesday also proposed changes in its corporate governance by terminating its shareholders’ rights plan and proposing to make directors subject to an annual vote.

Baum said that in recent years Sempra shareholders have voiced a preference for the annual election of directors and the elimination of the shareholder rights plan, adding that the board “reviewed these issues carefully and is pleased to move forward on instituting changes.”

To make the directors subject to annual elections and thus, “declassify” directorships, votes representing two-thirds of the outstanding. Sempra shares will be required for an item that will be placed on next year’s proxy for the 2006 annual shareholders’ meeting, Baum said. If approved by enough shares, the annual election of directors would be phased-in, beginning in 2007, he said.

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