Logitech founder calls on computer peripherals group to find new chairperson

by | Sep 15, 2023 | Business

By John Revill

ZURICH (Reuters) – Logitech co-founder Daniel Borel stepped up his call for it to find a new chairperson on Friday, after objecting to Wendy Becker’s re-election to the role at the Swiss-American computer peripherals maker’s AGM earlier this week.

Borel, one of three people who founded Logitech in 1981, said the maker of computer mice and keyboards had lost its way under Becker, who has chaired it since September 2019.

“I am not yet a dinosaur meddling, but I am worried about the future of Logitech, the company I created,” Borel told Reuters. “Logitech needs a new chairperson, someone who can react to the changed market situation.”

Logitech said Becker, a former CEO of British clothing chain Jack Wills, was travelling on Friday and was not immediately available to comment on Borel’s views.

The Swiss-listed company, whose share price has risen 10% in 2023, said Becker had the support of its shareholders.

“We are grateful for Daniel’s contribution over the last 40 years, and always welcome his feedback,” a spokesman said.

“Wendy herself – the only female chair in the Swiss blue chip index – was re-elected as chair and board member with 96% of the votes, a clear sign of shareholder confidence in her leadership,” the Logitech spokesman added.

Borel, who holds the honorary position of chairman emeritus at Logitech, said he would give its board time to act before pursuing his agenda further.

“I want to give the board enough time to address this properly and humanely rather than a couple of weeks,” he said.

Borel said he wants Logitech’s board to develop a transition plan to replace Becker by the end of its current financial year, which runs to the end of March 2024.

Logitech enjoyed a boom during the COVID-19 pandemic as people stocked up on equipment to work from home, but sales and profit fell steeply last year.

Borel, who holds a stake of around 1.5% in Logitech said the downturn had not been recognised quickly enough.

The 73-year-old said Logitech had failed to reduce costs sufficiently and there had been a lack of succession planning to replace long-serving CEO Bracken Darrell who left in June.

At the end of its last business year, Logitech cut 300 jobs from its 8,200 workforce, while also reducing operating expenditure by 17%.

(Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Alexander Smith)


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