North Face maker VF to shake up board with Engaged Capital input

By Thomson Reuters Feb 13, 2024 | 8:08 PM

By Svea Herbst-Bayliss

(Reuters) – VF Corp, the owner of the North Face, Vans and Timberland brands, said on Tuesday it will appoint one new board member and select a second with input from activist investor Engaged Capital.

Engaged, which has a 1.3% stake in VF, has been pushing for board representation and further restructuring since disclosing its position in the company late last year.

Caroline Brown, who worked at investment firm Closed Loop Partners and was previously chief executive officer at Donna Karan International, will join the board immediately.

The company will also find another independent director in the near term, a choice that will be mutually agreed on with Engaged.

One of VF’s 12 existing directors will also not run for re-election at the company’s annual shareholder meeting later this year. The company has not yet announced who this director will be.

Brown was among the candidates the company was already looking at independently of Engaged, two people familiar with the matter said, declining to be identified because the discussions were private.

“Caroline is highly respected in the apparel industry, with a proven track record of turning around, scaling and transforming global brands, and her insights will be valuable as the company continues to execute its Reinvent strategy,” board chair Richard Carucci said in a statement.

Engaged, run by hedge fund veteran Glenn Welling, has pressed VF to cut costs and explore strategic alternatives, including selling its non core brands.

VF has embarked on restructuring efforts under CEO Bracken Darrell, who took the position in July 2023 and previously led computer peripherals maker Logitech International. He has laid off staff and cut costs.

(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)