HanesBrands announced that its Board of Directors appointed William Simon as Board Chair, effective December 31. His appointment follows Ronald Nelson’s decision to retire as chairman and Board member at the end of the year.

Simon has been a director at Hanesbrands since 2021 and was previously on the Talent and Compensation Committee and the Governance and Nominating Committee. He is an executive advisor to the KKR & Co. investment firm and president of WSS Venture Holdings, LLC, a consulting and investment company, after having served as president and CEO of Walmart U.S.

Steve Bratspies, HanesBrands’ CEO since August 2022, had previously served as chief merchandising officer since 2015 for Walmart, Inc.,

Cheryl K. Beebe and Ann E. Ziegler will also retire as Board members on December 31, 2023. These changes follow the appointment of three new independent directors, Colin Browne, Natasha Chand and John Mehas, in November and align with the company’s previously announced intent to return the Board to ten members.

The appointment of Browne, Chand, and Mehas to the Hanes Brand board came as the company entered into a cooperation agreement with activist shareholder Barington Capital Group, L.P. Under this, Barington agreed to a customary standstill, voting and other provisions. Also, under the agreement, Barington will provide advisory services to the company regarding its business, operations, strategic and financial matters, corporate governance, and the composition of the Board.

Bratspies said, “HanesBrands has been fortunate to benefit from the strategic leadership, operational expertise and financial acumen that Ron, Cheryl and Ann each brought to the Board. They have made significant contributions to the company throughout their years of service. They served as valuable partners to me and our leadership team as we have developed and executed a strategy to capitalize on HanesBrands’ growth opportunities, simplify our global business and best position our brands for success in an evolving consumer environment. I look forward to working with Bill in his new role as Chairman as we accelerate and continue to advance our strategic initiatives.”

Simon said, “On behalf of the Board, I thank Ron for his years of leadership and Cheryl and Ann for their dedication to HanesBrands. I appreciate the Board’s confidence in me, and I look forward to working with my fellow directors and the management team in my new role as Chairman. As we move ahead with fresh perspectives gained from our recently appointed new directors, the Board continues to be intensely focused on delivering enhanced shareholder value. We are collectively committed to supporting management as the team executes on opportunities to drive improved growth and profitability.”

Nelson said, “It has been an honor to serve as a director and the Chairman of the HanesBrands Board. Over the course of my 15 years on the Board, the company has remained true to its core principle of making apparel known and loved by consumers around the world for comfort, quality and value while growing and evolving with the industry. Looking forward, I am confident that Bill, Steve and the full team will continue to leverage the strength of the company’s brands and enhanced operations to deliver further growth and value for all shareholders and stakeholders.”

HanesBrands’ brands include Hanes, Champion, Bonds, Maidenform and Bali.

Photos courtesy HanesBrands