Activist investor pushes Kohl’s for board refresh - The Entrepreneurial Way with A.I.


Thursday, October 13, 2022

Activist investor pushes Kohl’s for board refresh


This audio is auto-generated. Please let us know if you have feedback.

Activist investor Macellum Advisors on Thursday issued an open letter to Kohl’s shareholders calling for a shakeup of the company’s board of directors. Macellum is pushing for an “immediate and targeted refresh” of the board, rather than waiting for the retailer’s annual meeting, which will happen next year.

The investment firm, which has a nearly 5% stake in Kohl’s, is calling for the ousting of Chairman Peter Boneparth and other longtime directors. In particular, Macellum took aim at John Schlifske, Stephanie Streeter and Jonas Prising, who have all served on the board between seven and 15 years. Macellum Advisors said they have attempted to work privately with the board for over two months on a plan to replace current board members with independent retail experts.

Macellum Advisors in February pushed for board changes and nominated a slate of 10 candidates, yet in May, Kohl’s shareholders re-elected all of its board members. That came after Kohl’s agreed to update its board in a settlement with Macellum and other activist investors in April 2021.

“We are disappointed that Macellum, only five months after Kohl’s shareholders reelected our entire slate of directors … has launched a disruptive public campaign for the third time,” Kohl’s said in a statement shared with Retail Dive. “Kohl’s Board and management have regularly engaged with Macellum during the last two years, including numerous occasions since the annual shareholders meeting and several times this quarter, to hear their perspective. These engagements have been unproductive and a distraction from running the business during a challenging retail environment. The Board and management remain committed to maximizing value and acting in the interests of all our shareholders by staying focused on running the business.”

Less than a month ago, hedge fund Ancora Holdings Group also pushed to replace Boneparth, along with CEO Michelle Gass. In response, Kohl’s said its board “unanimously supports Michelle Gass and her leadership team.”


Kaarin Vembar, Khareem Sudlow