World News – UA – Myer’s chairman quits after losing support from two key shareholders


The beleaguered chairman of Myer department store resigned ahead of the company’s annual general meeting, having lost the support of the retailer’s two major shareholders

Garry Hounsell, chairman of Myer for the past three years, announced he would retire ahead of the meeting after it became clear billionaire investor Solomon Lew and fund manager Geoff Wilson would not vote for his re-election, the company said in a statement to ASX on Thursday just before the start of the shareholders’ meeting

« Ahead of Myer’s annual general meeting, it became clear that Myer’s two major shareholders do not support my re-election and I will not allow my current tenure as chairman to be a distraction from the hard work of the management team « , M Hounsell said in a statement

The shock move marks a significant victory for M Lew, who is campaigning against M Hounsell since his appointment in 2017 The chairman of Premier Investments, which owns around 11% of Myer, has repeatedly called Mr. Hounsell to step down and has consistently blamed the president for Myer’s recent underperformance

M Lew had indicated in recent weeks that he would vote against M Hounsell at the annual general meeting, where he was re-elected M Wilson, who owns 7% of Myer, had long kept his cards close to his chest, but eventually said he believed the company would benefit from « clean air »

« We believe Myer will benefit from clean air after a difficult time for the company, » he told The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald on Thursday morning.

« We expect that management can now stay focused and work to deliver to shareholders over the Christmas period »

Director JoAnne Stephenson has been appointed Interim President in light of Ms. Hounsell and Society to Undertake Global Search for New President

« It is critical that [Managing Director] John King and Myer’s management team be able to execute the strategy during the all-important peak trading period between Black Friday and the sale of inventory January without further interruptions and it is hoped that my appointment as Interim President will allow this to happen, ”said Ms Stephenson

M Hounsell defended his tenure as chairman, saying he believed his three-year tenure had strengthened the Myer business and kept it going during the « severe disruption » of COVID-19

« Throughout my tenure we have been resolutely focused on customer satisfaction and improving business performance – and we have been determined not to let anything distract us from this mission », a- he declared

Myer, Garry Hounsell, Solomon Lew, Chairman

World News – UA – Myer Chairman resigns after losing the support of two key shareholders