Superdry co-founder and former chief executive Julian Dunkerton said he was "disappointed" after an influential shareholder advisory firm recommended that investors block his reinstatement to the board.
Last night it emerged that Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) had warned investors that Dunkerton was partly to blame for the issues facing the struggling brand.
In a joint statement this morning Dunkerton and co-founder James Holder, who together own 29 per cent of Superdry’s shares, said: “Naturally we are disappointed by the ISS recommendation. However, we acknowledge that it is extremely rare for ISS to support shareholders who propose changes in corporate strategies.
“The strategic and leadership failings at Superdry remain clear and the financial and operational impacts are obvious and profound: we know how to fix these issues.
“We continue to engage productively with shareholders, and we are hugely encouraged by the positive response to our proposals.”
Dunkerton, who left the firm in March last year, wrote to shareholders last week to urge them to back his readmission to the board as he outlined plans to “supercharge” the company.
The fashion retailer’s founder said he would return the company to revenue growth, restore double-digit earnings margins and rebuild profitability within three years.
However, Superdry reiterated its call for shareholders to oppose Dunkerton’s motion, saying his return would be “extremely damaging to the company and its prospects".