Activist Investor Ryan Cohen Buys Stake In Nordstrom, Urges Board Shakeup

  • Activist investor Ryan Cohen, known for sparking big rallies in so-called meme stocks, is reportedly buying a substantial stake in Nordstrom Inc JWN
  • He also intends to urge the company to change its board following a steep decline in share price.
  • Mr. Cohen is one of the top-five nonfamily shareholders of Nordstrom.
  • As of March 11, 2022, members of the Nordstrom family beneficially owned roughly 30% of the company’s stock, according to an annual filing. It means that effecting change would be difficult without their support.
  • Ryan Cohen is the former CEO of the online pet supplies store Chewy Inc CHWY, which he co-founded in 2011. He is currently the chairman of GameStop Corp GME.
  • Mr. Cohen hopes to engage with Nordstrom’s management about a targeted board refresh that can support cost-cutting efforts as sales decline, Wall Street Journal reported. 
  • Cohen seeks to replace at least one director, focusing on former Bed Bath & Beyond Inc BBBY Chief Executive Mark Tritton, who chairs the compensation committee and whom Mr. Cohen views as conflicted and unqualified, the report added.
  • “While Mr. Cohen hasn’t sought any discussions with us in several years, we are open to hearing his views, as we do with all Nordstrom shareholders,” a WSJ report said, citing a Nordstrom spokeswoman. “We will continue to take actions that we believe are in the best interests of the company and our shareholders.”
  • Price Action: JWN shares are up 26.10% at $26.65 during the premarket session on the last check Friday.
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