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Fired Gildan CEO responds to board criticism in open letter



In a surprising turn of events, Glenn Chamandy, the recently ousted CEO of Gildan Activewear Inc., has responded to the criticisms leveled against him by the company's board. In an open letter released on Tuesday, Chamandy expressed deep disappointment with the actions of the board, labeling them as a "premeditated" attempt to undermine his lengthy record with the company, a record spanning over two decades.


Chamandy, who had been at the helm of Gildan for nearly 20 years, was abruptly dismissed by the board on December 11. This decision triggered a response from some of the company's major investors, who called for Chamandy's reinstatement. The former CEO maintains that his termination was without just cause.


The board, in a statement issued on Monday, defended their unanimous decision to remove Chamandy, asserting that retaining him would have jeopardized Gildan's future and eroded shareholder value. They specifically pointed to a proposed multibillion-dollar acquisition strategy that Chamandy allegedly pushed, expressing skepticism about its viability and his ability to answer basic questions about the strategy.


In Tuesday's response, Chamandy refuted the board's claims, stating that the strategy presented "meaningful organic growth prospects" and had the support of Gildan's management team. He went on to criticize the board, asserting that their actions have resulted in a significant loss of shareholder value and are counterproductive to the company's growth.


Chamandy urged a redirection of efforts towards driving growth that benefits all stakeholders, emphasizing that such a priority has traditionally been at the core of Gildan's values. His letter suggests a sharp difference in perspective between the former CEO and the board regarding the strategic direction of the company.


The turmoil surrounding Chamandy's departure has taken a toll on Gildan's stock performance. After reaching a 2023-high of over $50 per share in early December, the stock has experienced a decline of more than 17% as of Tuesday morning.


The situation highlights the challenges companies face when navigating leadership changes, particularly when long-standing executives are involved. The clash between Chamandy and the board underscores the importance of effective communication and alignment of strategic visions within organizations to ensure stability and sustained growth.


As stakeholders await further developments, the future direction of Gildan and the resolution of this internal dispute will undoubtedly be closely monitored by investors and industry observers alike.


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