Green Dot, embroiled in a proxy fight with Harvest Capital Strategies, a large shareholder, said on Monday (May 16) that it will split its top roles of chairman and chief executive officer.
As Bloomberg noted, the firm will announce its appointment of an independent chairman after its May 23 corporate annual meeting, a move that, in part, according to the newswire, will help satisfy the urgings of a proxy advisory firm, Glass Lewis & Co.
Under the current executive structure, Green Dot’s founder, Steven Streit, is the executive who maintains both roles within the firm. In another boardroom move, Green Dot said it would bring on George Gresham, a director nominee championed by Harvest Capital, which holds more than 9 percent of the shares outstanding in the company. Gresham served as chief financial officer of NetSpend Holdings, a firm that was a Green Dot peer and competitor, acquired by Total System Services in 2013.
Glass said it supports Gresham’s appointment to the board. It also said that it does not — as has been recommended by Harvest — support the idea of ousting Streit from the CEO role. Further, the advisory firm offered no official recommendation on the trio of nominees put forth by Green Dot. Glass also stated that the shareholders voting on board members should withhold support from the other nominees put forth by Harvest Capital.
In a statement, Harvest Capital Managing Director Jeff Osher said: “Importantly, Glass Lewis acknowledged its support for ‘the bulk’ of our plan, which we continue to believe must start with addressing the toxic ‘tone at the top.’”