Britain

Wetherspoons boss blasts corporate governance system and institutional shareholders

JD Wetherspoon PLC (LON:JDW) boss Tim Martin has blasted the UKs corporate governance rules in a tirade attached to the groups first-quarter trading update.

While the pub chain's chief executive is usually known for his Brexit rhetoric, on Wednesday he instead turned his guns on the corporate governance code, which he said is “up the spout” and has “directly led to the failure or chronic underperformance of many businesses, including banks, supermarkets, and pubs”.

“A core problem is that CG institutionalises short-termism, inexperience and navel-gazing,” Martin said.

He then slammed two of the companys institutional shareholders, Blackrock and Columbia Threadneedle, for having previously opposed the re-election of long-serving non-executive directors despite having long-term non-execs on their own boards.

“Columbia Threadneedle has decided that one rule applies to itself, but that another should apply to Wetherspoon”, he said, adding that the pressure had compelled four of Spoons NEDs to offer their resignations, which had “inevitably destabilised the company in the process”.

Sales rise in first quarter

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