The Wet Seal Inc. urged its shareholders to reject activist investor Clinton Group’s efforts to replace four members of its board late Monday.
Clinton had previously urged Wet Seal’s board to sell the company after the apparel firm’s chief executive Susan McGalla was fired in July.
Clinton said Friday in an Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it would like to nominate former chairman and ceo of United Retail Group Raphael Benaroya, former chairman, president and ceo of Charming Shoppes Dorrit Bern, chairman and ceo of Avalon Group Ltd. Lynda Davey, former president and co-ceo of Aeropostale Mindy Meads and former president and chief operating officer of Aeropostale John Mills for seats on the retailer’s board.
In a letter sent last night, Wet Seal told its shareholders to reject Clinton’s attempts to replace its current board, which includes Kathy Bronstein, its former ceo and John Goodman, former ceo of Charlotte Russe and a former Sears Holdings Corp. executive, citing that their members have “extensive teen retail and fast fashion experience.”
The retailer noted that Clinton “does not have any semblance of business strategy, ” adding that the investor is “engaged in a misguided effort” to replace four experienced members of the board with five new directors, “none of whom know our business model nor have meaningful experience in our fast fashion business.”
The Foothill Ranch, Calif.-based apparel company also said the board is working with recruiter Korn/Ferry to find a new ceo.