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Superdry board recommends vote against Dunkerton

The Superdry board has unanimously recommended that shareholders vote against the appointments of Julian Dunkerton and Peter Williams as directors of the company, in a general meeting that will be held in April. 

On 1 March, Superdry co-founder Dunkerton officially demanded a shareholder meeting as part of his efforts to stage a comeback at the business.

The requisition for a general meeting called for Dunkerton to be appointed as a non-executive director. It also called for Peter Williams, chairman of online retailer Boohoo Group, to be made an independent non-executive director. 

Under section 304 of the Companies Act 2006, the board had to call a general meeting of shareholders within 21 days. Superdry has now confirmed that it will hold a general meeting on 2 April. 

However, the board has unanimously recommended that shareholders vote against both resolutions. 

A “circular” posted to shareholders claims that “Dunkerton had prime responsibility for the autumn/winter 2018 range”, which ”contributed to the company’s underperformance in [financial year 2019].”

“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.”

It also adds that “Dunkerton’s return would have damaging business impacts”.  

“Specifically, that it would: i) lead to a strategy that would fail; ii) result in a return to a narrow and concentrated range mix, high option count, and low rate of sale model with a disregard for consumer and data insight; iii) be divisive and distract from the delivery of the global digital brand strategy; iv) reintroduce a leadership style that does not fit within the open-minded collaborative culture, values and operation of the company; v) lead to dysfunctional relationships with the board and management; and vi) damage morale across the business and cause departures of key personnel, including from within the board.” 

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