Most of Gildan’s shareholders as well as leading proxy advisory firms ISS, Glass Lewis, and Egan Jones “overwhelmingly” favoured Browning West’s full-eight-member slate of directors – Kneeland, Chamandy, Michener Chandlee, Ghislain Houle, Mélanie Kau, Peter Lee, Karen Stuckey, and J.P. Towner.

As a result Gildan’s existing CEO Vince Tyra and board of directors have stepped down from their roles with the new candidates expected to be the only ones to stand for election at Gildan’s 2024 annual meeting of shareholders on 28 May.

Gildan said in an official statement: “Shareholders have made their views clear as we approach the 28 May 2024 annual meeting. The outgoing directors believe that it was in the best interests of all Gildan stakeholders for them to resign and not stand for election at the upcoming annual meeting, allowing the new board to be seated so that it can oversee the company in the most orderly and efficient manner. The outgoing directors wish the new directors, the management team, Gildan’s 45,000 employees, and its shareholders success in the future.”

Browning West’s usman Nabi and Peter Lee claimed “this is the first time in more than a decade that an overwhelming majority of shareholders and all leading proxy advisory firms supported a full reconstitution of a board,” and added: “We take the responsibility seriously and look forward to delivering enduring value.”

Browning West, which owns a 5.7% stake in Gildan Activewear said it is eager to begin working towards its common goal of “delivering enhanced shareholder value” and claimed this begins with reinstating Chamandy who it believes holds the key to keeping Gildan one step ahead of its competitors.

“He knows exactly what it will take to expand the company’s already strong position alongside the newly reconstituted board,” stated Browning West.

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Chamandy, who co-founded Gildan 40 years ago, expressed his gratitude for being reinstated as CEO, praising shareholder and employee resilience “through a tumultuous period,” and shared this gives him great confidence that “Gildan’s best days are yet to come.”

Incoming chair Kneeland said the new board will “usher in accountability and alignment” after the “contest” is put behind them to focus the company’s energy on implementing an “operating plan” to position Gildan for long-term success.

Just Style contacted Gildan Activewear and Tyra for comment but neither had responded at the time of going to press.

Gildan replaced its CEO Glenn Chamandy with Vince Tyra in December 2023, a move that was deemed “hasty, inexplicable and value destructive” by its major shareholders at the time.

In March, Gildan’s board confirmed receiving a “confidential non-binding expression of interest to acquire Gildan” and formed a special committee to review the proposal and any alternative transactions ahead of the annual meeting.

This resulted in Browning West filing a lawsuit against Gildan to preserve its shareholder rights.