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Deckers Defeats Activist Investor Marcato

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  • File photo courtesy of Deckers Brands

Deckers Brands has beat back an attempt by activist investor Marcato Capital Management to replace the board of directors with Marcato’s own candidates.

Deckers announced this morning that shareholders voted to reelect all of Deckers’ existing board members in a solid rebuke to Marcato, which had slammed the past performance of Deckers.

Marcato, which owns 8.4% of Deckers, wanted to revamp the board and unveiled a turnaround plan that called for selling Deckers brands such as Sanuk, Teva and Hoka, among other actions.

Deckers fought back against Marcato, and detailed how the company is working to improve results and why its current directors were more qualified than the Marcato slate.

Deckers had embarked on its transformation plan before the Marcato proxy fight heated up, and is getting results.

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The company has been focused on improving margins for all of its brands and is centralizing procurement, making targeted headcount reductions, and increasing productivity.

The company is also focused on other strategies including diversifying the Ugg brand, devising a multi-season product plan, growing the Hoka brand and expanding internationally.

The ultimate goal is to improve operating profits by $100 million by the end of fiscal 2020.

In a statement this morning announcing the results of the shareholder vote, Deckers said: “We are very pleased with the outcome of today’s vote. On behalf of the entire Deckers Board and management team, we sincerely thank our stockholders for their valuable insight and support throughout this process.

“Today’s outcome reaffirms that we are on the right track. We remain focused on continuing our strategic transformation as we optimize our retail strategy, improve operating profits, refresh our Board and return capital to stockholders.”

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