Gambling giant Tabcorp has injected more fresh blood into its boardroom amid investor discontent over some existing directors’ length of tenure and the group’s below-market returns.
The $9.5 billion company on Wednesday said professional director Anne Brennan would join its board as a non-executive director, which follows the October appointment of outgoing Football Federation Australia boss David Gallop.
Tabcorp, which operates lotteries and the TAB wagering outfit, has been hit with significant protest votes at its last two annual general meetings.
At its meeting this October, 34.6 per cent of votes went against the re-election of chairman Paula Dwyer, who has been on the board since 2005, with proxy adviser Institutional Shareholder Services recommending against her re-election because of her long tenure.
Ms Dwyer has said she will step down as chairman no later than the Tabcorp annual general meeting in 2021.
Tabcorp received a first “strike” – or a vote of 25 per cent or more against its executive pay packets – in 2018 but avoided a second on at this year’s AGM.
Ms Brennan currently sits on the board of agricultural chemical maker Nufarm Limited and property group Charter Hall, and has previously been a director at casino operator Echo Entertainment (now Star Entertainment) and the struggling retailers Myer and Metcash.
Ms Dwyer said in a statement that Ms Brennan had broad industry experience including in gambling and would bring “strong commercial judgment and extensive professional experience in audit, corporate finance and transaction services” to the board.
Tabcorp’s total shareholder returns have underperformed the S&P/ASX200 by 8.5 per cent over the past year and 23 per cent over the past two years, but the group has promised up to $145 million in benefits from its 2017 merger with Tatts Group by 2021.
Tabcorp shares closed up marginally at $4.68.
Source: Thanks smh.com