Myer Shuffles Board & Cuts Fees After Shareholder Assault
UPDATE: Myer has quickly appeased the concerns of majority shareholders and retired two of its six non-executive directors. The company has also slashed its chairman and non-executive directors’ annual base to $250,000 and $100,000 respectively.
Embattled department store, Myer, has seen an assault on its board intensify, with influential investor Geoff Wilson joining a call-to-action campaign sparked by Solomon Lew.
According to SMH, the Wilson Asset Management chairman issued a letter to Myer chairman, Garry Hounsell, requesting a cut in director personnel and fees, in line with the market value of similar companies.
The letter reportedly requests that a fee reduction to non-executive directors as part of COVID19 cuts remains permanent.
The news comes after majority shareholder, Solomon Lew, resurrected his four-year long campaign to oust Myer’s board, over alleged mismanagement and a deterioration of its balance sheet in recent years.
Mr Lew was tipped to be eyeing the support of Wilson – Myer’s second largest investor – in lieu of encouraging thousands of smaller shareholders for voting support.
Voting support at an extraordinary general meeting would seek to significantly shuffle Myer’s senior management ranks, including Chief Executive John King.
Instead, gaining Mr Wilson’s support is expected to expedite and simplify the process of shuffling management.
It comes after Myer slumped to a $172.4 million full year net loss, hit by store closures and COVID19. It’s the second largest loss in company history, following a $486 million full-year loss in 2018.
Commentators assert increased lobbying from Myer’s majority shareholders could accelerate efforts to shuffle its management team.