US: Abercrombie & Fitch splits chairman and CEO roles
Teen apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch has separated the roles of chairman and CEO, abandoned its shareholder rights plan, and named three new board members.
Former Sears CEO Arthur Martinez has been appointed non-executive chairman, while Michael Jeffries, who has served as chairman since 1996, will continue to serve as the company's CEO.
In addition, Terry Burman and Charles Perrin have been named directors of the board, joining Martinez.
The retailer has also decided to terminate its shareholder rghts plan, a tactic commonly adopted by companies to defend themselves against potential takeovers.
Craig Stapleton, chair of the nominating and board governance committee and former lead independent director, said: "These significant changes demonstrate the company's ongoing commitment to being a leader in corporate governance best practices and responding to shareholder concerns."
The changes come less than two months after Abercrombie & Fitch shareholder Engaged Capital urged the retailer to replace Jeffries when his contract expires in February.
Days later, the retailer reworked its contract with Jeffries to see his compensation paid in line with company performance.
Abercrombie & Fitch swung to a third-quarter loss in November, after it was weighed down by a double-digit drop in sales and costs linked to the restructuring of its Gilly Hicks business.
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