An activist investor group with a combined stake of 9.5 percent in Kohl’s has reduced the number of directors it plans to nominate to the company’s board from nine to five.
The activist group, which is looking to seize control of Kohl’s board, said it had nominated nine candidates in hopes of “working constructively with the board to choose from a large pool of candidates to construct a well-balanced board.”
Kohl’s, however, rejected the proposal last month and argued that shuffling the board would negatively impact the momentum the company has seen in its business, CNBC reported. The company released a presentation highlighting its plans to boost sales and profitability by focussing on the beauty and activewear segment. The presentation also highlighted the company’s recent progress and noted that the 12 members on its board play a crucial role in the company’s success. Four of the board members are directors who either current or former chief executives.
This reportedly prompted the activist investor group, which includes Macellum Advisors, Ancora Holdings, Legion Partners Asset Management and 4010 Capital, to reduce the number of nominees to replace just five board members, including the board’s chair Frank Sica.
“We are convinced that based on the company’s historical underperformance, without significant board change, Kohl’s will continue to miss the mark with its customers,” the group said.
The five nominees that the group is proposing include former Denny’s Chief Marketing Officer Margaret Jenkins, Macellum Chief Executive Jonathan Duskin, former Macy’s Chief Merchandising Officer Jeffrey Kantor, former Burlington CEO Thomas Kingsbury and former Chico’s President Cynthia Murray.
The retailer’s stock has reportedly improved by more than 80 percent over the course of the last 12 months. The company’s current market cap of $9 billion is bigger than that of players such as Macy’s and Nordstrom.