Gildan’s board published a statement earlier this week (16 January) suggesting its former CEO Glenn Chamandy had a close relationship with shareholder Browning West, which has led the campaign for reinstalling him as CEO. The company claims it is also looking into other “undisclosed relationships”.

The board claimed this new information was obtained by accessing the former CEO’s files and electronic information following his departure on 10 December 2023. It stated his “actions and lack of transparency with the board are further indication that new leadership was required at Gildan”.

Gildan’s board suggested Chamandy was invited to be a guest speaker at Browning West’s investor day in February 2023 and Chamandy “appears to have treated Browning West differently to other Gildan shareholders”.

The board claimed Chamandy failed to disclose he had invested in funds managed by a Gildan shareholder that has now come out in support of reinstalling him as CEO. It also alleged that a senior executive at that same shareholder purchased a multi-million-dollar property at Apes Hill, the private golf resort in Barbados owned by Chamandy.

Gildan’s board was also keen to deny Browning West’s claim that it plans to hold its next Annual General Meeting of Shareholders “…as late as Fall 2024″.

The Gildan board explained it will respond to the requisition in due course.

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Browning West told Just Style in a statement: “The board’s increasingly desperate messages in the face of unprecedented shareholder backlash are failing to divert attention away from substantive shareholder concerns and Browning West’s requestioned special meeting.”

The statement continued: “We do appreciate the board highlighting our rigorous diligence, which entails engaging with management teams and conducting site visits so that we gain a deep understanding of our portfolio companies.”

In a separate statement published on 17 January, former CEO Chamandy said: “It is with regret that I observe the board’s current focus on a strategy seemingly aimed at undermining my reputation and my record through insinuation and distortion of the truth. The board’s latest release barely warrants a response.”

He added: “It continues to reflect an approach that is misguided, misleading, and value-destructive, prioritising the obsession of board members with their own reputations above all else. It is imperative that the board refocus its efforts and priorities toward recovering the loss of value for which it is responsible – and listening to shareholders, a goal that benefits all stakeholders. This must be done forthwith to avoid further detriment to Gildan.”

Earlier this week the Gildan board officially named Vince Tyra as the company’s new CEO, despite shareholder protests, with the company insisting he is the right man for the job.

However, Browning West remains critical of the decision and stated: “As a result of our understanding of the operational complexity of Gildan’s manufacturing process, we know that Vincent Tyra – who lacks manufacturing experience and has a record of value destruction – is an extremely poor leadership choice.”

Browning West concluded: “It has likely become clear to all shareholders that the board is much more focused on self-preservation than accepting shareholders’ views and creating value.”