Bath & Body Works has appointed Thomas J. Kuhn as a new independent member of its Board of Directors at the recommendation of activist investor Third Point, which holds a 6% stake in the retailer. Kuhn is currently Managing Member of investment firm Doorbrook LLC and will bring experience in financial, legal and corporate governance to the board.
Bath & Body Works’ board now is made up of 13 people, including two recently appointed independent directors: Lucy Brady, President, Grocery & Snacks at Conagra Brands, who was also recommended by Third Point; and Steve Voskuil, SVP and CFO at The Hershey Company. The board has seven members who are female, people of color and/or LGBTQIA+.
“We are pleased that Tom will join the Bath & Body Works board of directors,” said Sarah Nash, Board Chair in a statement. “The board was impressed with Tom’s background as a strategic advisor to numerous companies and boards of directors. We are confident that Tom’s 35-year history as a respected financial and legal advisor, including working with consumer companies, will bring an important perspective to Bath & Body Works as it focuses on its key strategic initiatives to maximize shareholder value. The board values the feedback of its shareholders and appreciates Third Point’s thoughtful recommendations of both Tom and Lucy.”
Third Point seems to be satisfied with these changes; the company announced that it no longer intends to nominate candidates to stand for election at Bath & Body Works’ upcoming 2023 Annual Meeting of Stockholders. “Tom is a trusted strategic advisor whose practical financial and governance insights will be highly additive to the board,” said Daniel Loeb, CEO of Third Point in a statement. “I commend the Bath & Body Works Board for their commitment to bringing on fresh voices and believe that with the recent additions of Tom, Lucy and Steve, the board is well-positioned to drive long-term shareholder value.”
Loeb has accused Bath & Body Works of operating in “triage mode rather than via best corporate governance practices” and is seeking to change its culture through a more independent boardroom. A full dozen members of the retailer’s board are now independent directors, which could help the activist investor’s push for change gain even greater traction.