Abercrombie & Fitch Co. chief executive officer Mike Jeffries is going to be dealing with a boardroom full of new faces — and one contemplating how the company will ultimately transition to a new leader.
The retailer said Wednesday that it would nominate four new independent directors at its annual meeting as part of a settlement agreement with activist investor Engaged Capital, which has been pushing the company for change.
The directors include Hudson’s Bay Co. vice chair Bonnie Brooks, Gap and Ralph Lauren veteran Sarah Gallagher, former Bath & Body Works ceo Diane Neal and former Ernst & Young retail leader Stephanie Shern.
Once these changes are made, Abercrombie’s board will be made up of 12 directors — 11 of them independent and seven of whom will have been added this year.
Non-executive chairman Arthur Martinez said, “These actions will further enhance the board and management team’s focus, including strengthening the business, executing on the company’s strategic plans and succession planning, as Abercrombie & Fitch moves into the next phase of its growth.”
This ratchets up the pressure on Jeffries, who is considered founder of the modern-day Abercrombie and is on the board, but has seen the company’s fortunes wane as of late. In January, he gave up the title of chairman after 18 years, with Martinez taking that role.
Jeffries still has plenty of skin in the game. Even after selling 50,000 shares of Abercrombie stock for $1.8 million Monday, the ceo continues to hold 857,856 shares of the firm, according to a regulatory filing.
Glenn Welling, founder and chief investment officer of Engaged Capital, which holds 0.6 percent of Abercrombie’s stock, said his company worked “constructively” with Abercrombie and withdrew its effort to nominate new directors to the board.
“Since January, the company has added seven new directors, appointed a new chairman of the board and terminated its shareholder rights plan,” Welling said. “These changes position the reconstituted board to set a new direction for the company and execute upon an agenda focused on shareholder value creation.”
In honor the @CFDA’s announcement of @iamnaomicampbell receiving the Fashion Icon Award at the 2018 #CFDAAwards, which will take place on June 4, here’s a #tbt of the supermodel on @michaelkors’ runway in 1991. #wwdfashion #wwdarchive (📷: George Chinsee)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech during @sxsw for @createcultivate in partnership with @fossil. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.