Kohl’s Adds New Board Members in Agreement With Activist Group

Kohl’s Corp. agreed to add new members to its board as the retailer reached an agreement with activist shareholders that had been pushing for an overhaul.

The company will add two new independent directors nominated by the group, which includes Macellum Advisors, Ancora Holdings, Legion Partners Asset Management and 4010 Capital. Another director -- identified by Kohl’s and agreed upon by the investors -- will also be added. The new members will join the board at the end of the company’s annual shareholder meeting.

Kohl’s shares rose as much as 1.3% shortly after the start of New York trading.

“I look forward to working with our newly expanded board to further advance our transformative strategy and deliver results for shareholders,” Kohl’s Chief Executive Officer Michelle Gass said in a statement. She said the company is “positioned to build on our momentum and accelerate growth and profitability.

The agreement reinforces Kohl’s argument that it was already seeing signs of a turnaround. While the company, like other major retailers, had struggled during the early days of the pandemic, its shares have climbed steadily since a disappointing earnings report in November. Last month, Kohl’s gave an upbeat sales outlook and announced plans to reinstate its dividend.

The activist-appointed board members are Margaret Jenkins, who has served as a director for Citi Trends Inc. and PVH Corp., and Thomas Kingsbury, who is a director for Big Lots Inc., BJ’s Wholesale Club Holdings Inc. and Tractor Supply Co. Christine Day, who has served as CEO of Lululemon Athletica Inc., is the other new member.

Kohl’s also agreed to expand its share buybacks to $2 billion.

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