In line with guidelines of the 2018 UK Corporate Governance Code, the fashion retailer asked its shareholders why they had voted against the re-appointment.
The majority claimed it was because Roney was “overboarded” with other directorships, while a secondary concern related to the gender make up of the board.
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Next said it accepted that some investors applied stricter rules than the market generally on the number of directorships.
However, the clothing retailer said: “Mr Roney provides more than enough time to his role as chair and effectively discharges the functions and obligations of the role. He has attended all board and committee meetings held in the past three years.
“He is always available when required as was evident in the group’s response to the pandemic and his involvement in the major strategic decisions made by the board in recent years”.
Roney, a former chief executive of distribution and outsourcing giant Bunzl, is also chair of builder’s merchants Grafton Group and a non-executive director at Brown-Forman Corporation.
Next added: “Mr Roney brings significant experience to his role at Next, provides clear direction and leadership to the board and the board believes that his continuing appointment as chair is for the benefit of all stakeholders in the company.”