Glenn J Chamandy is set to return to the helm of Gildan Activewear after its new board of directors resigned and Vince Tyra stepped down as CEO after only five months.

Following pressure from shareholders led by investment firm Browning West, Gildan announced last night that the new line-up of directors would not stand for election at the upcoming annual meeting on 28 May.

Tyra, who took over as president and CEO of the Canadian garment manufacturer in January after Chamandy was forced out in December, left with immediate effect.

It means that the outgoing board has halted discussions about a previously announced sale process initiated after an approach from an unconfirmed potential buyer.

Browning West, a long-term shareholder of Gildan Activewear with around 5.7% of the company’s outstanding shares, announced that its own eight-member slate of directors would be the only candidates to stand for election at the annual meeting.

Along with Chamandy, they are Michael Kneeland, Michener Chandlee, Ghislain Houle, Mélanie Kau, Peter Lee, Karen Stuckey and JP Towner.

According to Browning West, preliminary results indicated that an “overwhelming majority” of shares were voted in support of its full eight-member slate before the board’s resignation.

In a statement, Browning West co-founders Usman S Nabi and Peter M Lee said: “Our directors are eager to begin working toward their common goal of delivering enhanced shareholder value, which begins with reinstating Glenn Chamandy as CEO.

“Glenn is a visionary leader with a track record of value creation, an unparalleled knowledge of Gildan’s manufacturing business, a deep connection with the company’s employees and shareholders, and an impressive ability to foresee key industry shifts to keep Gildan one step ahead of competitors.

“He knows exactly what it will take to expand the company’s already strong position alongside the newly reconstituted board, including proven value creator Michael Kneeland, who the new board intends to appoint as chair.”

Kneeland added: “Gildan has an impressive 40-year history anchored by strong long-term operating results, an outstanding employee base and a founder who has demonstrated a clear ability to oversee an increasingly global business and has an unrivalled track record of value creation.”

Chamandy co-founded the Montreal-based group in 1984 and was president and CEO from 2004 until he was ousted amid disagreements about the future of the business.

In its statement last night, Gildan said: “The outgoing directors believe that it was in the best interests of all Gildan stakeholders for them to resign and not stand for election at the upcoming annual meeting, allowing the new board to be seated so that it can oversee the company in the most orderly and efficient manner.”

In April, Gildan announced the appointment of five new directors for its board, including new non-executive chair Tim Hodgson who was previously CEO of Goldman Sachs Canada and a former special adviser to Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of Canada.

The other independent directors were due to be: Lewis L (Lee) Bird III, former chairman and CEO of home décor retailer At Home Group Inc; Jane Craighead, former senior vice president global human resources at Scotiabank; Lynn Loewen, former president of Minogue Medical Inc; and Les Viner is former managing partner of business law firm Torys LLP.

gildancorp.com