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Japan's Seven & i Holdings Picks Former Uber Executive For Board

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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Japan's Seven & i Holdings Picks Former Uber Executive For Board

Japanese retailer Seven & I Holdings Co, facing pressure from activist investors for structural reforms, has nominated a former executive of Uber Technologies Inc to join its board of directors, the company said.

The operator of the 7-Eleven chain of convenience stores has named Elizabeth Miin Meyerdirk, a founding member of Uber Eats, who will join as a new outside director, pending approval from shareholders at a May 26 annual meeting.

Facing a shrinking domestic market, the company said this month that it would seek growth overseas, particularly in North America, and would also expand online shopping and delivery services in Japan.

Seven & I said this month it would revamp the board to ensure a majority came from outside the company, bringing in management skills to guide growth outside Japan.

U.S.-based activist fund ValueAct Capital, which holds a stake of 4.4%, has been urging it to shake up the board and sell off underperforming assets.

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Seven & I could more than double its share price by focusing on its convenience stores, the fund has said.

Reform Business Portfolio

Seven & i recently said it would continue reforms of its business portfolio, and that it had hired a financial adviser to conduct a strategic review of its Sogo & Seibu department store unit.

ValueAct, which holds a 4.4% stake, had urged the company to sell off Sogo & Seibu, saying in February that Seven & i could more than double its share price by focusing on its convenience stores.

News by Reuters, additional reporting by ESM – your source for the latest retail news. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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