Dissatisfied with the leadership of Chico's FAS, some institutional investors withheld their votes Thursday for a key board member at the company's annual meeting.
More than 45 percent of the institutional investors withheld ballots for John Burden 3rd, said Greg Taxin, managing director of Spotlight Capital Management LLC, a private investment fund that is a Chico's shareholder. Taxin said Burden, who was reelected with board members David F. Walker and John J. Mahoney, has a conflict of interest because his son-in-law is on Chico's management team.
Burden, who has been a director since 1997, sits on the Corporate Governance and Nominating Committees, and until recently, sat on the Compensation Committee, Taxin said.
"It was a protest vote, to show the board that we are unhappy and they need to uphold their fiduciary responsibilities," Taxin said.
He took the floor at the meeting and urged the board to fire president, chairman and chief executive officer Scott Edmonds, whom he said is the wrong person to turn around the company.
Chico's has reported that first-quarter net income in the three months ended May 3, hurt by increases in expenses and large reductions in comparable-store sales, fell to $12.7 million, or 7 cents a diluted share, from $47.2 million, or 27 cents, in the year-ago quarter. Results included a pretax charge of $2.2 million related to the closure of seven Soma stores.
During the meeting, Edmonds discussed the strategies that management is executing to revive Chico's, such as increasing its emphasis on customer service, improving merchandise and slowing down store growth.
"Despite the current challenges, we remain confident in our long-term strategies and are optimistic about the future," Edmonds said.
Shares of Chico's fell by 5.26 percent to close at $5.76 in trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange. The 52-week low was $5.42. The high was on June 28, when the stock hit $25.33 in intraday trading.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast