Billionaire retailer Solomon Lew has asked directors of Myer department store to step down or face firing following President Garry Hounsell’s resignation just hours before the company’s annual general meeting on Thursday
M Lew stated that the departure of M Hounsell was the « green shoot » Myer shareholders had been waiting for and should signal to the other four members of the company’s board that their « time is up »
« In the interest of all shareholders, we expect the other directors of Myer to now indicate their intention to step down in an orderly fashion or face an extraordinary general meeting at which they will certainly be revoked « , he declared
Premier Investments chairman Solomon Lew has called on Myer’s board to resign or be removed from officeCredit: Eddie Jim
Comments from the president of Premier Investments followed M’s shocking departure Hounsell Thursday morning after it became apparent that M Lew and fund manager Geoff Wilson would not vote for re-election
« 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 management team »M Hounsell said in a statement announcing his departure
This decision was an important victory for M Lew, who is campaigning against M Hounsell since his appointment in 2017 M Lew owns 11% of Myer and has consistently blamed the chairman for Myer’s underperformance
Director JoAnne Stephenson has been appointed Interim President in light of Ms. Hounsell and the company announced it will undertake a global search for a new president However, M Lew considered it a « waste of time and money »
« Myer is an Australian icon and requires a Board of Directors with proven Australian credentials and business experience including key skills in real estate, IT, e-commerce and logistics, « he said
In the interest of Myer’s customers, suppliers and its “long-suffering shareholders,” Mr. Lew said he would seek to install a new independent board of directors at the retailer
« Premier intends to continue consulting with other significant shareholders and together we will reconstitute Myer’s board of directors with a majority of independent directors headed by an independent chairman, » he said. declared
This position suggests that Chairman Premier may have garnered the support of Myer’s other major shareholders, including Mr. Wilson of Wilson Asset Management, to force a change in the company
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, whose company owns 7% of Myer, had long kept his cards close to his chest, but ultimately 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 remain focused and work on shareholder benefit during the Christmas season, » he added.
M Wilson did not respond to questions about whether he would support Mr. Lew at a future special general meeting, saying he « supports the direction of Myer » and focuses on the performance of the company until Christmas
In the announcement of his retirement, Mr. Hounsell defended his tenure as president, 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, resign, board of directors
World news – UA – Lew tells Myer board to resign or well after leaving shocking president
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