Activist investor continues push for Kohl’s board shake-up

Oct 13, 2022, 8:24 AM | Updated: 9:13 am

NEW YORK (AP) — An activist investor that has been pressing Kohl’s for a new strategy to turn around struggling operations is again attempting to shake up the department store’s board.

Macellum Advisors GP, LLC, which controls nearly 5% of the outstanding common shares of Kohl’s Corp., wants some long-term directors ousted, including Chairman Peter Boneparth. Macellum said Boneparth is part of a “shadow board.”

“The Shadow Board is failing to adequately support Kohl’s senior management, which has resulted in the destruction of billions of dollars of shareholder value recently and perpetual stagnation over the long-term,” Jonathan Duskin, a managing partner at Macellum, wrote in a letter to shareholders made public Thursday.

Yet five months ago shareholders rejected all the board nominees backed by Macellum, including Duskin, voting instead for the current board during the company’s May annual meeting.

Duskin wrote Thursday that the vote may have gone differently if shareholders had been aware of what he called the true degree of business deterioration at Kohl’s, senior executive departures and details of a failed attempt to sell the department store. But, he said, Macellum has attempted to avoid becoming a distraction, instead working privately with the board over the past couple of months.

After the resounding defeat in May, Kohl’s said Thursday that it is disappointed that Macellum, has launched a “disruptive public campaign for the third time.” The company said that it has regularly engaged with Macellum over the past two years to listen.

“These engagements have been unproductive and a distraction from running the business during a challenging retail environment,”Kohl’s said. “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.”

Last year, Macellum nominated nine directors. In a settlement in April 2021, Kohl’s agreed to add two directors from the activists’ slate, along with an independent director.

In August, the Menomonee, Wisconsin, chain slashed its sales and profit expectations for the year after being forced to cut prices to shed unwanted merchandise. The department store also cut back on orders ahead of the critical holiday period.

Kohl’s was not alone, with even chains that have thrived in recent years, Walmart and Target, forced to slash inventories after consumer behavior shifted radically over the past year.

Yet Kohl’s has struggled for years.

Last month, activist investor Ancora Holdings Group pushed for the removal of both Chairman Boneparth and CEO Michelle Gass for what it calls a botched strategy and dramatic sales declines.

Ancora, which owns 2.5% of outstanding shares in Kohl’s, has been able to get three of its directors installed on the board.

The Wall Street Journal was first to report on Macellum’s latest board push.

Shares of Kohl’s were essentially flat, Thursday, but are down about 50% this year.

______

Follow Anne D’Innocenzio: http://twitter.com/ADInnocenzio

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

New California oil well ban put on hold for voters to decide

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s new law banning new oil and gas wells near homes, schools and other community sites has been put on hold until after voters decide next year whether to throw it out, officials announced Friday. Opponents of Senate Bill 1137 gathered more than 623,000 valid voter signatures to put a referendum […]
22 hours ago
FILE - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks after being sworn in to begin his second term during an ina...
Associated Press

Florida lawmakers to meet next week on Disney, immigration

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida lawmakers will meet next week to complete a state takeover of Walt Disney World’s self-governing district and debate proposals on immigration and election crimes, as Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to leverage national political fissures ahead of an expected White House run. Republican leaders of the Legislature, in coordination with […]
22 hours ago
FILE - Johnny Thai, 11, receives the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a pediatric vaccine clinic for chil...
Associated Press

California won’t require COVID vaccine to attend schools

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Children in California won’t have to get the coronavirus vaccine to attend schools, state public health officials confirmed Friday, ending one of the last major restrictions of the pandemic in the nation’s most populous state. Gov. Gavin Newsom first announced the policy in 2021, saying it would eventually apply to all […]
22 hours ago
Part of the 988helpline.org website is photographed Friday, Feb. 3, 2023. A cyberattack caused a ne...
Associated Press

Feds say cyberattack caused suicide helpline’s outage

WASHINGTON (AP) — A cyberattack caused a nearly daylong outage of the nation’s new 988 mental health helpline late last year, federal officials told The Associated Press Friday. Lawmakers are now calling for the federal agency that oversees the program to prevent future attacks. “On December 1, the voice calling functionality of the 988 Lifeline […]
22 hours ago
FILE - Workers at the Nissan plant in Smyrna, Tenn., walk by a Nissan Altima sedan on May 15, 2012....
Associated Press

US board clears path for mini-union vote at big Nissan plant

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Fewer than 100 employees out of the thousands who work at Nissan’s auto assembly plant in Tennessee can hold a vote on whether to form a small union, the federal labor board has decided. The ruling Thursday by the National Labor Relations Board overturns a June 2021 decision by one of […]
22 hours ago
A person gambles as betting odds for NFL football's Super Bowl are displayed on monitors at the Cir...
Associated Press

Super Bowl prop betting increasing in popularity

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Jay Kornegay was behind the counter in 2004 when someone approached with $5,000 to bet on the Super Bowl but had no idea how to decide. The man, not a regular sports bettor, thought for a few moments and decided to put it all on the Carolina Panthers to score exactly […]
22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...
DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
Activist investor continues push for Kohl’s board shake-up