Superdry co-founder scrapes approval to rejoin board
Superdry co-founder Julian Dunkerton looks set to rejoin the company’s board, triggering a possible wave of resignations among the current management.
Mr Dunkerton’s election scraped over the line with 50.75% of the total proxy votes cast ahead of a shareholder meeting.
Peter Williams, the chairman of Boohoo, is also set to become a director after he gained 50.74% approval.
Final votes will be cast at a meeting on Tuesday, though it is thought unlikely to swing the result.
Mr Dunkerton expressed his delight at the result, and vowed to “set Superdry back on the path to growth and success”.
He added: “We have a wonderful opportunity to take this brand and this business to the next, exciting phase of its growth and development.
“I can’t wait to get started and to work with the directors, the talented staff and our partners to deliver the future of Superdry. The hard work starts now.”
Shares in the fashion chain were down nearly 4% at 527p in afternoon trade.
The current board of Superdry has previously threatened to resign en masse if Mr Dunkerton returned to the company.
He has been a vocal critic of Superdry’s management for several months, claiming that the strategy has not been working.
He said in a circular last month that the retailer’s management, led by chief executive Euan Sutherland, has presided over a “catastrophic decline”.
“The company is in such a weakened state that it has floundered on one season’s collection, but the real issues facing the business are far more fundamental, strategically and operationally.”
He is acting with co-founder James Holder and together the pair own 29% of Superdry.
In the build-up to Tuesday’s vote, investor advisory firms PIRC and Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) both recommended shareholders vote against the shake-up.
But big City investors including Investec Asset Management, Schroders and Spanish bank BBVA were expected to vote in favour of Mr Dunkerton.