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Vote to remove Surfstitch chairman defeated

A vote on the removal of Sam Weiss as Surfstitch director and chairman has been defeated.

Shareholders overwhelmingly voted against the resolution on 3 August, with 91.78 per cent of votes cast against Weiss’s removal, and 8.22 per cent of votes cast for it.

This was the result the Surfstitch board had been hoping for.

In a statement to shareholders issued one week before the vote, the board (with Weiss abstaining) argued the removal of Weiss was not in the best interests of the company and recommended shareholders vote against it.

Weiss released his own statement to shareholders at the extraordinary general meeting last week, making his case to keep the top spot.

“Although the business has continued to operate at a loss, I believe the underlying Surfstitch business to be better run, leaner, more agile and more appropriately structured than the business we inherited,” he said.

“On a personal level, I took this role for a number of reasons. I have been involved in the retail trade for the past forty years and have experience in it in Europe, the United States and Asia and have been actively engaged in e-commerce virtually since the beginning of it nearly twenty years ago. I was under no illusions about the degree of difficulty of the task ahead, nor was I when I commenced my appointment with the company,” he said, going on to argue that his removal would only further destabilise the company.

“The ability to requisition a meeting is the right of any shareholder and one that has my utmost respect. However, leaving aside the considerable expense and significant distraction of this exercise, there appears to be little, if any benefit, to the company if the proposed resolution is passed.”

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