Update: On Friday, May 24, Gildan announced that the board of directors had also appointed Michael Kneeland as non-executive chair, effective immediately.

“We look forward to putting this contest behind us so that we can focus our energy on implementing our operating plan and positioning Gildan for long-term success,” Kneeland says. “As independent directors, we will help usher in accountability and alignment at Gildan. The interests of the company and its stakeholders will remain relentlessly in focus under the new board.”

Citing “clear” shareholder preference, the entire board of directors of Gildan Activewear (PPAI 250187, Platinum) resigned Thursday evening along with sitting president and CEO Vince Tyra, the company said in a statement.

The mass resignations will remove all drama from the company’s annual shareholder meeting on May 28, when the six-month leadership tug-of-war at PPAI 100’s No. 10 leading supplier was expected to be resolved.

Glenn Chamandy, who was ousted as CEO late last year, will be reappointed as CEO of the company he co-founded in 1984.

  • Effective immediately, the outgoing board has appointed a new slate of board members proposed by activist investor Browning West, which owns just under 6% of Gildan shares.
  • Browning West’s eight-person slate will comprise the entirety of the new board.
  • The outgoing board has also ceased discussions regarding a previously announced sale process, the statement 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,” a statement from Browning West said. “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.”

The Browning West statement said preliminary voting results indicated that an overwhelming majority of shares had sided with its slate for the Montreal, Canada-based supplier.

“I’m extremely excited to return as Gildan’s CEO and am gratified for the incredible support I have received from both shareholders and employees over the past six months,” Chamandy said. “I’m proud of our dedicated employees for their hard work and focus through a tumultuous period. The resilience of the team and the high quality of our newly seated Board give me great confidence that Gildan’s best days are yet to come.”

Gildan’s Leadership Struggle

Resembling a Succession story arc at times, the battle over leadership of Gildan has been raging since Chamandy was ousted on Dec. 10 and immediately went public with his disagreement with the decision, claiming a misaligned vision with other board members, and describing his termination as without cause.

revolt led by five institutional investment firms, including Browning West, began almost immediately.

  • Tyra, previously the chief executive of alphabroder predecessor Broder Bros. and Fruit of the Loom, took over at the beginning of 2024. Meanwhile, the company’s board continued its war of words with Chamandy.
  • Gildan also pushed back on Browning West, alleging that a large purchase of company stock by the company violated antitrust laws.
  • In March, Browning West sued Gildan and its board in Quebec to ensure that the May 28 shareholder meeting continue as scheduled and with the oversight of an independent chair.

The spat took a tabloid turn when Gildan’s board was accused of failing to perform its due diligence before naming Tyra to replace Chamandy. The New York Post reported that Tyra had recently hired to Gildan a senior leader with whom he held a romantic relationship while she was his direct report at at Broder Bros. more than two decades ago.

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One week later, Gildan announced that it was mulling acquisition offers. In April, five board directors including then-Chair Donald Berg were replaced with new appointees.

An earnings report released on May 1 revealed a sales dip in Q1 compared to the same period in 2023.