Very interesting news this morning from David Jones, with chairman Peter Mason and the two directors (Steve Vamos and Leigh Clapham) implicated in the recent share trading accusations all announcing plans to step down from the board.
It seems that while ASIC recently noted it was not looking any further into the purchases by Vamos and Clapham, institutional investors have taken this and the associated but rejected merger proposal from Myer to flex their muscles as owners of David Jones to seek board renewal and improved governance.
Fairfax papers are reporting that “Non-executive director Jane Harvey has been appointed deputy chairman and will lead the board renewal process with a view to appointing three new non-executive directors.”
Interestingly, the AFR suggests that these resignations and the board renewal process might pave the way for CEO Paul Zahra to rethink his intention to resign.
And it seems he has the support of institutional investors:
“If you’re in this amount of disarray at board level the last thing you need is a change at the CEO level as well as board level,” said Pengana Capital portfolio manager Rhett Kessler.
“Paul has proven himself to be a very competent and innovative CEO in difficult market circumstances – I think he’s doing a great job.
“I’m getting more optimistic about Paul (staying on) every day,” said another shareholder before Monday night’s announcement.
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