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Nordstrom added a retired Nike executive to the board as it witnessed pressure

April 18, 2023: On Monday, Nordstrom said it had wiped retired Nike working chief Eric Sprunk to join its board as the firm faces pressure from an activist investor.

 Nordstrom shares increased by over 3%.

The company said Sprunk, Nike’s COO to 2020, will join the board as soon as possible. With the appointment, Nordstrom said its board would grow to 11 directors.

In a news release, Nordstrom board people Brad Tilden highlighted Sprunk’s “track record of driving e-commerce increase and large-scale changes within a complex global firm.”

The move states as the retailer’s performance gets investigated by some investors, which include Ryan Cohen, an activist investor. Cohen, the founder of Chewy and the GameStop chairman, bought a significant stake in Nordstrom in February to shake up the retailer’s board, according to people known with the matter, who wished to remain anonymous because of the private nature of the discussions.

Those people said one of those requested changes was removing Mark Tritton, retired Bed Bath & Beyond CEO, from the board. Cohen previously bought and sold a significant stake in the home goods retailer, which is on the point of bankruptcy.

On Monday, in a proxy filing, the firm said it “received notice from a shareholder which states its intention nominating two candidates for election to the Board at the Annual Meeting, noticing was later withdrawn.”

Nordstrom declined to say whether Cohen exists that a shareholder and if he influenced Sprunk’s booking. Cohen’s firm, RC Ventures, has been contacted for comment.

Yet the proxy hints at a potential ongoing dispute with Cohen. According to the representative, Cohen has moved to seek a more significant stake in the firm. In early March, his firm retired and requested a waiver of a board allowance so he could have up to 19.9% of Nordstrom’s common products. His firm has possessed 4.2% of the company’s common stock as of March.

Nordstrom’s board provision, a Rights Plan, was adopted last September. It is intended to protect the firm and shareholders from a takeover, such as an entity, person or group having control of the company by secretly amassing a significant stake.

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Nordstrom added a retired Nike executive to the board as it witnessed pressure