If you love Skechers USA Inc. shoes, you might love them a bit less in a minute. That’s because the footwear maker is under the gun at the moment for its all-male board of directors. Criticisms logged from CtW, an adviser to union pension funds that has helped to shake up companies, described that the nine-member board “suffers from lengthy tenures and a lack of gender diversity.”
As they wrote, calling for changes before Sketcher’s annual meeting this spring, “The CtW Investment Group urges a complete and immediate overhaul of Skechers U.S.A., Inc’s board of directors in light of several serious governance risks.”
Six of the company’s directors have been serving for at least 12 years and only five of them are independent. Sketchers has said they are not available for comment. But CtW Executive Director Dieter Waizenegger has said that if Skechers doesn’t act, CtW may campaign against either some or all of the directors.
As Waizenegger said, “The longer you are on the board, the less obvious it is you can be independent.”
Skechers is certainly doing well in the market place, if not the board room. Their sales in 2012 reached $1.56 billion. Founded in 1992 by Robert Greenberg, who is still the chairman and chief executive, and his son Michael Greenberg, who is the president and a director, the family controls most shareholder decisions.