Myer (ASX:MYR) - Resigning Chair, Garry Housnell
Resigning Chair, Garry Housnell
Source: News.com
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  • The Chair behind one of Australia’s leading department store chains announced his retirement today amid criticism from the retailer’s biggest shareholders
  • Myer (MYR) Chair Garry Hounsell told investors on Thursday that he’s stepping down after three years in the role
  • It comes as the business’ biggest backers — magnate Solomon Lew and investment manager Geoff Wilson — criticised Myer’s leadership after its heavy $172.4 million full-year loss
  • While the former ASX 200-lister looks for a permanent replacement, JoAnne Stephenson will step up as acting Chair
  • Whether the shake-up will lead the embattled retailer to curtail its losses and move back into profitability remains to be seen
  • Following Garry’s resignation, Myer shares shed 2.08 per cent to trade for 23.5 cents

The Chair behind one of Australia’s leading department store chains announced his retirement today amid criticism from the retailer’s biggest shareholders.

Myer (MYR) Chair Garry Hounsell told investors on Thursday that he’s stepping down after three years in the role.

“Ahead of today’s Myer AGM, it has become apparent that Myer’s two largest shareholders are not supporting my re-election and I will not allow my ongoing tenure as Chairman to be a distraction to the hard work of the executive team,” Garry announced today.

The resignation comes as Myer’s biggest stakeholder, business magnate Solomon Lew, sought to replace the retailer’s entire board.

The major investor, who also serves as Premier Investment’s Chair, described the department store’s $172.4 million full-year statutory loss as “dire”, “disastrous” and “shameful.”

Myer’s second-largest shareholder, Geoff Wilson — who founded a namesake public investment vehicle — echoed the sentiments, calling on the retailer’s Chair to reduce the board’s size last month.

While the former ASX 200-lister looks for a permanent replacement, JoAnne Stephenson will step up as acting Chair.

“It is essential that [CEO] John King and Myer’s management team are able to execute the strategy during the all-important peak trading period, between Black Friday and January’s Stocktake Sale, without further disruption and it is hoped that my appointment as Acting Chairman will enable this to occur,” she signed off.

Now, Myer heads into today’s AGM with a shaken executive team, while Solomon Lew will work on reshaping the board.

Whether the shake-up will lead the embattled retailer to curtail its losses and move back into profitability remains to be seen.

Following Garry’s resignation, Myer shares shed 2.08 per cent to trade for 23.5 cents at 2:32 pm AEDT.

MYR by the numbers
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