Hedge fund Ancora Holdings is pushing for the removal of Kohl’s chief executive and board chairman, according to a letter sent to the company on Thursday.
After exploring a sale and deciding in July to remain independent, the U.S. retailer shares plunged, disappointing investors who had pushed for a deal.
Activist investor Ancora, who holds a 2.5% stake in Kohl’s, asked for the replacement of CEO Michelle Gass and board chairman Peter Boneparth with experienced executives in turning companies around.
According to the letter signed by Ancora CEO Frederick DiSanto and President James Chadwick, “Kohl’s needs new leadership with demonstrated experience in cost containment, margin expansion, product catalog optimization and, most importantly, turnarounds.”
The Wisconsin based company stock has tumbled 48% in the last year and reported a 63% drop in net income and 8% lower store sales in its most recent quarter that ended July 30.
“During the Boneparth era, the Board has created an environment in which Ms. Gass is no longer well-positioned to lead,” the Ancora letter said.
Last year Ancora and two other investors reached a settlement with Kohl’s that led to changes in the company’s board.