Another troubled company has taken its plastic surgery experiments beyond the cosmetic: this morning Abercrombie & Fitch announced an internal re-structuring that resembles a last-minute attempt to reverse its own failing fortunes.
The company voted to add three new appointees to its board of directors, terminate its “poison pill” shareholders’ rights plan and, perhaps most significantly, officially separate the Chairman and CEO roles.
To summarize, perpetual mouth-in-foot victim Mike Jeffries will remain the company’s leader in name only; the board has effectively re-asserted control over A&F by limiting the power of both its shareholders and its public face.
Jeffries offered a quote clarifying that he has always supported such “significant corporate governance enhancements” and that the announcements “thrilled” and “excited him”, but to everyone else this looks like a way of reassuring investors that the current-and-former CEO will no longer be able to depress earnings by demonstrating his total lack of media training.
Warning to executives at publicly traded companies who like to give contentious interviews: this could be you.
(H/T Sapna Maheshwari)