Superdry shareholders to meet in April to decide on Dunkerton's return
Superdry’s board of directors has recommended shareholders to vote against the return of co-founder and former brand and product director Julian Dunkerton in a strongly worded statement released on Monday.
The company will hold a general meeting on 2 April to decide on Dunkerton’s appointment as a non-executive director.
The British businessman, who stepped down from the business a year ago, has been very vocal about his concerns over Superdry’s direction, criticising a lack of innovation in its ranges.
Earlier this year, he called for a general meeting to ask shareholders to be reinstated to the board. His plans also involve the appointment of Boohoo chairman Peter Williams as an independent non-executive director.
But the board of Superdry is against his return, saying it would be “extremely damaging to the company” and that it would “lead to a strategy that would fail”.
In a circular posted to shareholders the company said that Dunkerton, in his former role as brand and product director, had “prime executive responsibility for the design direction, range selection and range build of the autumn/winter 2018 range, which contributed to the company’s underperformance” and which was “representative of underlying issues” in the company’s approach to product and innovation.
“Mr Dunkerton has failed to accept any responsibility for the Autumn/Winter 2018 range, even going as far as to claim that he had no involvement despite extensive and detailed evidence to the contrary,” Superdry continued.
The board also blasted a lack of transparency, saying that Dunkerton is nominated as a non-executive director but that in reality he seeks to return to his previous executive role.
This would “result in a return to a narrow and concentrated range mix”, and reinstate a leadership style that would damage Superdry’s corporate culture, the company said.
Dunkerton’s appointment as an non-executive director will have to be approved by over 50% of shareholders on 2 April to confirm his return.
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