Nordstrom on Monday said it has tapped former Nike operating chief Eric Sprunk to join its board, as the company faces pressure from an activist investor.
Nordstrom shares jumped about 4% on Monday.
Sprunk, who was Nike’s COO from 2013 to 2020, will join the board immediately, the company said. With the appointment, Nordstrom said its board will grow to 11 directors.
In a news release, Nordstrom board member Brad Tilden highlighted Sprunk’s “track record of driving e-commerce growth and large-scale transformations within a complex global business.”
The move comes as the retailer’s performance gets scrutinized by some investors, including activist investor Ryan Cohen. Cohen, the founder of Chewy and chairman of GameStop, bought a major stake in Nordstrom in February with plans to shake up the retailer’s board, according to people familiar with the matter.
One of those requested changes was removing Mark Tritton, the former Bed Bath & Beyond CEO, from the board, those people said. Cohen previously bought and then sold a major stake of the home goods retailer, which is now on the verge of bankruptcy.
Nordstrom did not say in the news release whether the board appointment was board of an agreement with Cohen. CNBC has reached out to the company for comment.
As the retail backdrop gets tougher, Nordstrom has reported slowing sales and falling profits. The high-end department store’s net income fell to $119 million, or 74 cents per share, from $200 million, or $1.23 per share, in the holiday quarter compared with the year-ago period. Net sales for the company’s namesake banner decreased 2.4%, and net sales for its off-price banner, Nordstrom Rack, dropped 8.1% in the quarter versus the year-ago period.
This fiscal year, the company said it expects revenue to drop by between 4% and 6%.
–CNBC’s Gabrielle Fonrouge contributed to this report.