In an e-mailed statement sent to to Bloomberg, Conroy said, “I resigned because I do not believe that the current course is the optimal path forward for the company. I am not comfortable with recent events and have come to believe that change is needed.”
Jeffrey C. Smith of Starboard stated, “We thank Kevin Conroy for the strength of his convictions and willingness to support change for the best interest of the company and its shareholders. We believe the resignation of five well respected directors of Newell, several of whom were on the legacy Newell Rubbermaid Board, is astonishing and a serious indication that significant change is necessary. Kevin’s public statement of support for our efforts is much appreciated and even further validation, we believe, that our director candidates are the right ones to deliver the material change required for the benefit of the company and its shareholders.”
Newell Brands announced on March 8 that Conroy had resigned from the Newell Board of Directors for personal reasons.
Conroy’s exit came as Starboard Value LP, the hedge fund, on March 5 nominated two additional directors to the board of Newell Brands, bringing its total nominees to 12 as the activist investor seeks to replace Newell’s board and CEO.
The nominations came two weeks after Newell named two new independent directors, expanding the board size to 11, in an attempt to rebuff Starboard’s efforts.