Effective immediately, HanesBrands appointed Colin Browne, Natasha Chand and John Mehas as independent directors to the Board. It also reached a cooperation agreement with Barrington Capital Group, an activist investor group.
Ronald L. Nelson, chairman of the Board, said, “We are pleased to welcome Colin, Natasha and John as independent directors to the HanesBrands Board. They bring important relevant experience in retail, consumer brands and operations, and we look forward to gaining their insights as the company continues to focus on driving improved performance and pursues key ongoing initiatives, including the evaluation of alternatives for the global Champion business.
“The Board is fully supportive of the company’s CEO, Steve Bratspies, as he and the broader team continue to execute on all of the company’s strategic plans, and we are steadfast in our commitment to delivering sustainable value creation for shareholders. We are confident the addition of these directors in combination with our current directors brings together diverse perspectives that will be beneficial as the Company continues to take actions to drive accelerated growth and profitability,” continued Nelson.
In connection with these appointments, the company entered into a cooperation agreement with shareholder Barington Capital Group, L.P. Under the agreement, Barington agreed to a customary standstill, voting and other provisions. In addition, also under the agreement, Barington will provide advisory services to the company from time to time regarding the company’s business, operations, strategic and financial matters, corporate governance and the composition of the Board.
James A. Mitarotonda, CEO of Barington, commented, “We believe this newly constituted Board is positioned to guide the company forward in pursuing our mutual goal to create value for HanesBrands’ shareholders. We appreciate the efforts and recent actions taken by Steve Bratspies and the management team. We look forward to working with him and the Board.”
On August 8, Barington Capital issued a letter calling for changes in the Board of Directors of Hanesbrands, possibly the CEO and other operational changes to reduce debt. In response, HanesBrands highlighted progress under its Full Potential strategy and said it remains committed to driving shareholder value and later said it was exploring options for Champion, including a sale.
Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and Evercore are serving as financial advisors to HanesBrands and Jones Day and Kirkland & Ellis LLP is serving as its legal advisor.
With these appointments, the company’s Board will temporarily expand to 13 directors before returning to 10, effective at the 2024 annual meeting of stockholders.
Among the new directors, Colin Browne is an international brand executive with over 40 years of industry experience across footwear, apparel and accessories. Most recently, Browne was the chief operating officer of Under Armour from January 2020 to November 2023.
Natasha Chand is a consumer business and technology executive with over 25 years of experience building and leading consumer brands globally. Chand is the Principal at NoBo, LLC, an advisory services firm focusing on transforming early-stage and Fortune 500 companies digitally and operationally. From 2016 to 2021, Chand served as a co-founder and the global CEO of Amazon’s Softlines Private Brands.
John Mehas is an experienced retail leader with over 30 years of building global brands and a proven track record of driving shareholder value through creative leadership. He is the CEO of Vineyard Vines, LLC, and previously the CEO of Victoria’s Secret Lingerie.
Photo courtesy HanesBrands