SCHLIEREN, SWITZERLAND — Ethos, a Swiss corporate governance advisory group, has voiced its support for Andreas G. Schmid to take over as Aryzta’s chairman. Mr. Schmid is the candidate Aryzta has put forth to succeed Gary McGann, who unveiled in a July 20 letter to shareholders that he plans to step down from his post at the conclusion of the company’s extraordinary general meeting (EGM) set for Sept. 16. Shareholder group Veraison and Cobas, meanwhile, has recommended Urs Ernst Jordi for the post.
Aryzta said Ethos also has recommended against the removal of Annette Flynn as a member of the board of directors but has recommended the removal of Kevin E. Toland, which is in line with Ethos’ policy guidelines that there should be no executive representation on the board of a Swiss-listed company. Mr. Toland is chief executive officer of Aryzta.
As previously set out in an Aug. 18 letter to shareholders, Aryzta said it rejects the proposal to remove Mr. Toland as a member of the board.
“Any diminution of his leadership, role or authority, increases business risk, and is not considered to be in the best interests of Aryzta,” the company said. “His leadership is integral to the business as it continues to manage through the COVID-19 crisis and provides effective executive representation at board level.”
Ethos has recommended for two of the shareholder group’s nominees, Mr. Jordi and Heiner Kamps, to join the board as directors and against their nominee Armin Bieri.
Aryzta has said it will support two of the shareholder group’s candidates “provided they observe either an established or a modified nominations process.”