World News – UA – Myer’s chairman resigns hours before annual meeting


Myer’s chairman Garry Hounsell resigned from the board four hours before the retailer’s annual meeting after its two major shareholders, Solomon Lew’s Premier Investments and Wilson Asset Management of Geoff Wilson, a indicated that he would vote against his re-election

M Hounsell, the only director to be re-elected at the AGM, said Thursday morning he would no longer seek re-election

M Wilson, of which WAM owns 78%, has been a strong supporter of Myer in the past and has teamed up with Investors Mutual to thwart attempts by M Lew to roll Myer’s board in 2018

However, M Wilson, who recently called on the retailer to cut its board and administration fees, had doubts about Mr. Hounsell

« This will now allow Myer to benefit from clean air after a difficult period for the company, » M said on Thursday. Wilson at the Australian Financial Review

« We look forward to management remaining focused and continuing to work hard to deliver for all shareholders during the critical Christmas season, » he said

The resignation of M Hounsell is a major victory for M Lew, who has been trying to take control of the board by appointing his own representatives since Premier Investments bought an 8% stake in Myer at $ 1.15 a share three years ago Shares have fallen to 24 ¢

M Lew blamed M Hounsell, who took over the presidency in September 2017, for Myer’s poor performance, citing his lack of retail experience

M Lew turned his attack on Myer’s chief executive John King last month after the year’s results, claiming that two years into his tenure, Myer’s turnaround was in « tatters. »

M Lew also glanced at M Wilson last month, stating: « M Wilson should now recognize that Myer’s continued failure is at least in part his fault and that his investors should hold him accountable for the losses they have suffered and will continue to last unless there is an immediate change.  » / p>

Despite this attack, Mr. Wilson decided Myer needed a breaker and M Hounsell should go

“Prior to 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

“During my three years as President, we have pursued a clear strategy that has bolstered Myer’s business, allowing him to navigate the severe disruption of lockdowns from the COVID-19 pandemic to be well positioned then that we are heading towards the crucial end – commercial period of the year « , he declared

« Our online business is getting better and better, growing nearly 100% in the second half of 2020 to become one of the largest and fastest growing online retail stores in Australia, and the Customer First strategy led by our CEO, John King, and the management team see our stores well stocked and well prepared for the summer « 

« Throughout my tenure we have been resolutely focused on customer satisfaction and improving business performance – and we have been determined not to allow anything to distract us from this mission »

The question now is whether M King and other directors will resign, making way for M Lew to call an extraordinary general meeting and appoint his own representatives to the board

JoAnne Stephenson has been named interim president as a global search is undertaken to find a permanent replacement president

Ms Stephenson said: “It is essential that the John King and Myer management team are able to execute the strategy during the peak of the all-important trading period, between Black Friday and the January stock sale without further interruption and it is hoped that my appointment as interim president will allow that to happen « 

Myer shares fell 62 percent to 225 ¢ after M’s resignation Hounsell, suggesting that shareholders believe the retailer faces another period of instability

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Myer, Garry Hounsell, Resignation, Solomon Lew, Board of Directors, ASX, President, AGM

World News – UA – Myer’s President resigns hours before the annual meeting