Toshiba shareholders today approved the appointment of 13 candidates to its board of directors, including two proposed by activist investors, in an attempt by the conglomerate to regain confidence in its board amid a internal power struggle.
The remodeling of Toshiba’s board of directors, the most far-reaching since 2019 (when it already approved four candidacies that had the support of activists, including that of the current chairman of the appointments committee, Raymond Zage), occurred during its meeting annual meeting of shareholders held this Tuesday.
The previous restructuring followed a major infusion of capital from foreign funds in 2017 to prevent the bankruptcy of its US nuclear subsidiary, Westinghouse Electric, and the sale a year later of its memory chip arm to a consortium led by the firm of Bain Capital investment.
Today’s decision comes at a similarly turbulent time, in which the company is reviewing its strategy to return to profitability, including a potential privatization, after shareholders rejected a spin-off plan from the previous board.
Among the new members of Toshiba’s board of directors are representatives of two activist investors, hedge funds Elliott Management, through Nabeel Bhanji; and Farallon Capital Management, its managing director in Japan, Eijiro Imai.
The inclusion of the candidates backed by activists would aim to regain the confidence of shareholders, after it was revealed that the management had colluded with the Japanese authorities to frustrate similar appointments in the past and after uncovering irregularities in the voting for the presidency of the conglomerate.
But his incorporation seems to have generated new turbulence within the council, where the external director Mariko Watahiki, who was running for re-election, would have expressed his intention to resign after the result, according to the Japanese network TV Tokyo.
Toshiba has been going through a succession of appointments and dismissals of its highest representative and its directors in recent years. In March, Taro Shimada was elected as president and CEO.
At the beginning of this month, the manager presented a new strategic plan that aspires to place data services as one of the pillars of Toshiba’s sustainability (seeks to represent around 20% of its income), in a shift from its traditional focus on industrial, infrastructure and semiconductor businesses.
The new board of directors has ahead of it the task of discussing the restructuring of the company, which has acknowledged having received several investment proposals that have generated expectation but on which it has not offered more details.
The news about Toshiba’s new management was apparently well received by its investors and the group’s shares rose 0.66% today at the close of the trading session.
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