×
93 030
Fashion Jobs
FABLETICS
Director, Technical Design - Yitty
Permanent · EL SEGUNDO
PUMA
Manager, Basketball Marketing
Permanent · Somerville
BANANA REPUBLIC
General Manager - Destiny Mall
Permanent · Syracuse
BANANA REPUBLIC
General Manager - Seattle Premium
Permanent · Tulalip Bay
NORDSTROM
Retail Stock & Fulfillment - Northshore
Permanent · Peabody
NORDSTROM
Asset Protection Agent - Boca Raton Towne Center
Permanent · Boca Raton
NORDSTROM
Asset Protection - Agent - Metro Pointe at South Coast Rack
Permanent · Costa Mesa
KOHLS
Full-Time Loss Prevention Supervisor
Permanent · Tacoma
KOHLS
Full-Time Sales Supervisor - Softlines
Permanent · Jeffersonville
KOHLS
Full-Time Sales Supervisor - Softlines
Permanent · Butler
KOHLS
Full-Time Sales Supervisor - Softlines
Permanent · Herndon
KOHLS
Full-Time Sales Supervisor - Hardlines
Permanent · Ames
TAPESTRY
Manager, Supply Operations
Permanent · New York
TAPESTRY
Manager, Ecommerce Content & Strategy
Permanent · New York
GAP
General Manager - mt. Pleasant t/c
Permanent · Mount Pleasant
NEW BALANCE
Senior Financial Analyst
Permanent · Boston
JCREW
District Manager
Permanent · Sugar Land
SACK OFF 5TH
Asset Protection Investigator
Permanent · CHARLOTTE
SACK OFF 5TH
Asset Protection Guard
Permanent · ATLANTA
BLOOMINGDALE'S
Asset Protection Visual Security Officer, Part Time - Soho
Permanent · NEW YORK
ABERCROMBIE AND FITCH STORES
Abercrombie & Fitch - Manager in Training, Short Hills
Permanent · Millburn
ATHLETA
Assistant General Manager - Park Meadows
Permanent · Lone Tree
By
Reuters API
Published
Feb 14, 2018
Reading time
2 minutes
Share
Download
Download the article
Print
Click here to print
Text size
aA+ aA-

Myer CEO exits, shareholder revolt grows

By
Reuters API
Published
Feb 14, 2018

Australia’s No. 1 department store chain Myer Holdings said on Wednesday CEO Richard Umbers would step down after its third profit warning in a year, ratcheting up demands from the company’s biggest shareholder for a board overhaul.


Myer



The move adds momentum to major shareholder and billionaire retail veteran Solomon Lew’s campaign to oust the board for what he says is its failure to prepare the 118-year-old company for the explosion in online shopping.

It suggests the board no longer has faith in its own turnaround plan, conceived by Umbers after he took over as CEO in March 2015, involving the closure of underperforming stores and building an online presence to take on global giants like Amazon and Britain’s ASOS.

“We are impatient for a turnaround in the company’s performance and the board has determined that it is in the interests of all shareholders for there to be a fresh approach to drive our future direction,” Chairman Garry Hounsell said.

Hounsell, who started as chairman three months ago, has been promoted to executive chairman, effective immediately, Myer added in a statement. The search for a new CEO was under way, it added.

Last week Umbers had said the company expected to post its worst half-year profit since 2009 and write down the value of its assets, while expressing confidence in his recovery plan.

Lew, who is lobbying Myer’s smaller shareholders to support a board shake-up, said the removal of its CEO and elevation of its chairman “demonstrates a total lack of judgement from the Myer board and a complete abdication of responsibility”.

Hounsell had “demonstrated a total lack of judgement in the way he has acquitted himself in the role, and deserves neither to be appointed nor paid as executive chairman”, Lew added, citing Hounsell’s public defence of the company’s strategy.

Myer shares bounced from record lows to be trading up 4 percent at 56 Australian cents by late afternoon, while the broader market was down. The stock has never traded over its 2009 issue price of A$4.10.

“I don’t think the strategy was the problem, I think the business environment is the problem, and Solly Lew’s not going to be able to fix that,” said Steve Johnson, chief investment officer at Forager Funds Management.

Forager, which specialises in distressed and undervalued companies, routinely considers buying Myer shares but has refrained because “it’s very hard to get comfortable that there’s going to be a business there in five or 10 years’ time”, Johnson added.

© Thomson Reuters 2022 All rights reserved.