Revolution Beauty CEO Bob Holt to exit amid Boohoo row

Revolution Beauty has revealed that its chair, Derek Zissman, and chief executive, Bob Holt, will step down as part of a settlement agreement with shareholder Boohoo. The two companies have been engaged in a series of disputes in recent weeks. Boohoo currently holds a stake of just under 27% in Revolution Beauty.

On Tuesday morning, Boohoo shares rose by 0.6% to 34.98 pence each in London, while Revolution Beauty experienced a 7.0% increase, reaching 32.84p.

Holt will continue to serve as interim CEO until the end of August. In addition, Revolution Beauty’s board will welcome new members, including Alistair McGeorge, Neil Catto, Rachel Horsefield, and Peter Hallett. Boohoo had previously attempted to prevent the appointment of McGeorge, Catto, and Horsefield to the Revolution Beauty board.

During the company’s annual general meeting in June, three Revolution Beauty directors were removed from the board after Boohoo voted against their re-election. However, a remaining director offered the trio a reprieve. These events followed an unsuccessful attempt by Revolution Beauty to adjourn the AGM, with 74% of votes opposing the move.

Shareholders were given the opportunity to vote on the re-election of Holt, Lake, and Zissman. The trio lost the poll, with approximately two-thirds voting against their re-election. This briefly left Non-Executive Director Jeremy Schwartz as the sole board member of the beauty products seller. Prior to the meeting, Revolution Beauty had praised Schwartz’s extensive experience, as he had previously served as the UK managing director at L’Oreal SA, overseeing various divisions.

Schwartz then had to consider several matters, including the requirement stipulated in Revolution Beauty’s articles of association that the company must have at least three directors. As a result, Schwartz appointed Rachel Maguire and Matthew Eatough as non-executives. Maguire is the CEO of strategic advisory firm Arko Iris Ltd, which provides governance counsel to leadership teams of mid-cap and large-cap companies. Eatough, on the other hand, is an experienced entrepreneur who has successfully founded and managed multiple businesses.

The trio, consisting of Schwartz, Maguire, and Eatough, subsequently reappointed the ousted Holt, Lake, and Zissman to the Revolution Beauty board and their previous positions.

Boohoo criticised the Revolution board, describing it as “self-serving” and accused it of acting against the best interests of shareholders.

The settlement announced on Tuesday is expected to put an end to the ongoing disputes between the two companies. Revolution Beauty acknowledged that Boohoo has withdrawn its request for a general meeting.