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Canada's Rona Inc bows to investor pressure, shuffles board

Jan 22 2013, 09:04 IST
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Rona Inc named a new executive chairman and reshuffled its board on Monday as part of a deal with its top shareholders that will help the Canadian hardware retailer and distributor  avoid a potentially bruising proxy battle. (Reuters) Rona Inc named a new executive chairman and reshuffled its board on Monday as part of a deal with its top shareholders that will help the Canadian hardware retailer and distributor avoid a potentially bruising proxy battle. (Reuters)
SummaryRona Inc named a new executive chairman and reshuffled its board on Monday as part of a deal with its top shareholders that will help the Canadian hardware retailer and distributor avoid a potentially bruising proxy battle.

yet to name a slate of nominees for election to Rona's board.

Rona said both Caisse and Invesco have now agreed to back its slate of nominees at a shareholder meeting in May. The two investors together own almost 27 percent of Rona's outstanding shares, according to the latest Thomson Reuters data.

BOARD CHANGES

Investors grew more vocal about the need for change at Rona, after it reported another set of weak results in November, on the heels of a string of sales declines at established stores.

Rona said on Monday it has also retained the services of a top global management consulting firm to work on its strategic priorities announced in December. At the time, the company said it would sell assets and simplify its operations as part of a back-to-its-roots strategy.

Rona said two of its board members, Alain Michel and Patrick Palerme, have resigned, effective immediately. Two other current directors will not stand for re-election at Rona's annual shareholder meeting on May 14.

The company said the four new individuals joining its board, effective immediately, are Bernard Dorval, former group head of insurance & global development at TD Bank; Wesley Voorheis, partner at Voorheis & Co LLP; Guy Dufresne, former president of ArcelorMittal Mines Canada; and Barry Gilbertson, principal with Barry Gilbertson Consultancy.

In addition, two other board members, Steven Richardson and another nominee, will be included in the company's circular for election at Rona's next annual general meeting of shareholders.

Rona, which is currently being led by interim CEO Dominique Boies, said it expects to be in a position to provide an update on its process to recruit a new CEO before the end of February. The company said the new CEO would also be named to its board of directors on appointment, replacing a current director.

Following the changes, the total number of Rona directors will increase to 14 from 12, and eight of its board members will be new directors, the company said.

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