Starboard names full slate of nominees for Newell board

Key Points
  • Activist investor Staboard put forward on Monday its 10 nominees for the Newell board.
  • Starboard is teaming with Martin Franklin, who sold his company to Newell, to push for the ouster of Newell's CEO and board.
  • Nominees include Franklin and Starboard's CEO, Jeffrey Smith.

Martin Franklin: Execution has failed at Newell

Starboard Value, the activist firm waging a proxy fight against consumer giant Newell Brands, on Monday put forward the names of the 10 executives with whom it wants to replace the Newell board.

Those names include: Starboard founder and CEO Jeffrey Smith, Starboard managing member Peter Feld, and former Jarden executives Ian Ashken, Martin Franklin and James Lillie.

Bradley Alford, former Nestle USA CEO; Pauline Brown, former North American chairman for LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton; Gerardo Lopez, former Extended Stay America CEO; and Charles Sonsteby, former finance chief of Michaels Cos., were also on the list.

CNBC previously reported Starboard was teaming up with with Franklin in the battle, as they push for the ouster of the Newell board and CEO. Franklin is the former chairman of Jarden Corp., who sold his company to Newell for $13.22 billion.

Franklin and two other executives resigned from the Newell board last month, amid challenges integrating Jarden and disputes about the way the new company is managed. Franklin felt limited in his ability to influence the company's strategy going forward, sources familiar with the situation previously told CNBC. Starboard approached Franklin about teaming up after his resignation.

Newell confirmed last week it had received notice from Starboard regarding its intention to nominate 10 candidates to stand for election to the board.

"The Newell Board recognizes the importance of having the right mix of skills, expertise and experience and is committed to continuously reviewing its capabilities and ongoing refreshment on behalf of shareholders," it said in a statement.

Newell's acquisition of Jarden was heavily scrutinized at the time of the deal. Investors questioned how difficult it would be to integrate a broad portfolio spanning Elmer's Glue to Rubbermaid. Since the deal closed, Newell's stock has declined roughly 42 percent, which Newell has attributed in part to a tougher retail environment. To help refocus the company, Newell last month announced it is considering selling off a number of its businesses to refocus on its core lines.

Starboard, which is urging Newell to table efforts to sell the businesses, blames the difficulties on Newell's management.

"The challenges the business faces are not macro," Franklin told CNBC in an an interview Monday.

"I think the business model that's been executed has failed, that the model needs to be revised. It needs new blood to revise it."