As feared by a major disgruntled shareholder, the successor designated to succeed Glenn Chamandy at the head of Gildan will take office on Monday, a month earlier than expected.
Vince Tyra was initially scheduled to begin his term as president and CEO of Gildan on February 12, replacing Glenn Chamandy whose dismissal was announced on December 10 by the board of directors of the Montreal clothing manufacturer.
Gildan said Friday that at the board’s request, Vince Tyra stepped aside so his start date could be moved forward to meet “the need to quickly engage with key stakeholders and provide stability and leadership needed” for the company.
At the beginning of the week, the American institutional shareholder Browning West expressed concern that the entry into office of Vince Tyra would be brought forward and had requested the holding, without delay, of an extraordinary meeting of shareholders to vote on the return to office of the ex-CEO Glenn Chamandy and reconstitute the majority of Gildan’s board of directors.
Browning West, which says it holds an approximate 5% stake in Gildan, also said it had learned that the board was considering using extreme tactics, including postponing the next annual meeting of shareholders and any requested special meetings until the fall.
About ten independent institutional shareholders, controlling approximately 35% of Gildan’s shares, have publicly expressed their opposition to the firing of Glenn Chamandy over the past month.
The board of directors initially justified its decision to dismiss Glenn Chamandy by differences related to the succession plan and by emphasizing that it wanted to move forward with a risky acquisition strategy worth several billion dollars. Faced with the discontent of several shareholders, the board subsequently denounced the commitment and certain behaviors of Glenn Chamandy.
The board said, among other things, that Glenn Chamandy focused more on his personal outside activities, including the development of a golf resort in Barbados, that his management style was unstructured, that he few meetings with senior management and rarely showed up in the office, on average only a few days per month, even long after the COVID lockdown ended.
After investing in his own sportswear company when he was in his 20s, using Gildan as his primary supplier, Vince Tyra became president of Fruit of the Loom before that company’s eventual sale to Berkshire Hathaway.
Vince Tyra later served as CEO of clothing distributor Broder Bros and director of intercollegiate sports at the University of Louisville in Kentucky.