Solomon Lew: Myer board must be cleaned out

No strategy for recovery.

In a letter to Myer shareholders, Premier Investments chairman, Solomon Lew has called for Myer’s “failed board” and “discredited chairman” to be removed, following two sales and profit downgrades since November 2017 and the recent departure of CEO, Richard Umbers.

”Myer CEO, Richard Umbers is to be replaced by the discredited chairman, Garry Hounsell, who has no real retail experience, and whose only role as CEO was at the collapsed accounting firm, Arthur Andersen Australia. In January 2018, Myer replaced its CFO with a new CFO who also has no real retail experience,” the letter read.

Photo Credit: Herald Sun 

“Any remaining doubt that Myer is in peril should now be removed from the minds of all shareholders. Myer has a discredited chairman for a CEO, a failed board, a dead strategy, declining sales and profits and an artificially-inflated balance sheet and massive liabilities.

“I have consistently called for more retail experience to be added to the Myer board – in fact, I nominated two highly-credentialed directors to represent Premier Investments, as well as another highly-credentialed independent director, but my suggestions were rebuffed.

“It is now clear to me that the entire Myer board must be cleaned out if the company is to have any chance of surviving. Premier has no interested in working with any current Myer directors, nor in doing any form of deal with the current Myer chairman or board,” the letter continued.

Premier Investments received an updated copy of the Myer share register with the aim to oust the board at an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM). Premier will pay for the costs of this EGM.

“It is time for Myer employees, customers and suppliers to know that there is a strong future for the business under the right leadership,” Lew said.

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