Legion Partners, the activist shareholder group, received a third party recommendation in its proxy war with Genesco as Glass Lewis endorsed the investment firm’s director nominees Dawn H. Robertson and Hobart P. Sichel.

In a statement, Chris Kiper and Ted White, Legion Partners’ managing directors, commented: “Legion Partners is pleased that Glass Lewis is acknowledging Genesco’s many years of underperformance and recommending the company’s shareholders vote for sorely-needed boardroom change on the White proxy card. We agree with Glass Lewis’ critique of Genesco’s long-tenured directors, including 20-year director Matthew C. Diamond. We also agree with the manner in which Glass Lewis has critiqued Genesco’s poor corporate governance, underwhelming financial results and weak valuation. By recommending that shareholders vote to elect Ms. Robertson and Mr. Sichel, Glass Lewis is endorsing two proven retail experts with significant experience turning around struggling retailers. We believe shareholders should go a step further to protect their investment by electing all four members of the Legion Partners’ slate.”

In response, Mimi Vaughn, Board chair, president and CEO of Genesco, said, “The Glass Lewis recommendation, unfortunately, ignores the series of decisive changes Genesco’s Board has initiated and implemented across the company to sharpen our focus on our industry-leading footwear platform and the positive results these changes are producing for shareholders. Genesco’s nine director nominees collectively bring a wealth of leadership experience, financial, strategic and retail expertise, and strong track records of building enduring brands and creating sustainable value for shareholders.”

Photo courtesy Bloomberg