Voting results from Ralph Lauren’s annual meeting with shareholders are in and support for some company directors seems to be dwindling.
The number of independent common stockholders that voted against the reelection of longtime Ralph Lauren directors Frank Bennack Jr., Joel Fleishman and Hubert Joly nearly doubled at this year’s annual meeting, according to a disclosure filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Of roughly 44.2 million shares entered for the election of the Ralph Lauren’s three independent directors, 11.4 million voted against Bennack, who’s been on the board since 1998, 13.2 million voted against Fleishman, who’s served since 1999, and 9.4 million voted against Joly, who’s served since 2009.
At the annual meeting held in 2016, only 5.8 million shares voted against the reelection of Bennack, while six million and 4.8 million voted against Fleishman and Joly, respectively. In 2015, the votes against were about two million less for each director.
Bennack is a longtime executive of Hearst and serves as the company’s executive vice chairman, Fleishman is a professor of law at Duke University, and Jolly is the chief executive officer and president of Best Buy.
A specific reason for more shareholders voting against the directors was not immediately apparent, but Ralph Lauren has been struggling — along with plenty of other retailers — to get back on solid footing recently and a positive return from its restructuring plan has been slow to emerge.
The company appears to be making some progress, as financial results for its first fiscal quarter showed net income of $59.5 million compared o a net loss of $22.3 million a year ago.
But sales have yet to rebound and Ralph Lauren’s total revenue came in at $1.35 billion, a 13 percent decline from last year.
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