Superdry will hold a shareholder meeting on 2 April to vote on the reinstatement of Julian Dunkerton after months of rising tensions between the founder and the board.
The fashion retailer confirmed the meeting in a circular sent to shareholders this morning, but urged them to vote against the reappointment of Dunkerton.
The board also told shareholders to vote down a resolution to appoint Peter Williams as a director.
Dunkerton has enlisted the help of Williams, who is chairman of online retailer Boohoo, in his bid to return to the company.
Superdry said Dunkerton, who co-founded the firm and holds an 18 per cent stake, had “prime responsibility” for the brand’s autumn/winter range last year, which it said contributed to Superdry’s underperformance.
“Mr Dunkerton has failed to accept any responsibility for the autumn/winter 2018 range, even going as far as to claim that he had no involvement despite extensive and detailed evidence to the contrary,” the company said in a statement.
In addition, Superdry blasted the former boss, saying his return would have “damaging business impacts”.
It said Dunkerton’s reappointment would be divisive, lead to “dysfunctional” relationships within the management team and damage morale across the business.
“The board unanimously believes that Mr Dunkerton’s return to the company, in any capacity, would be extremely damaging to the company and its prospects,” it said.
The co-founder, who left the firm last March after 15 years in charge, has been campaigning for a return in recent months and is reportedly looking to oust chairman Peter Bamford and chief executive Euan Sutherland.
Shareholders will vote on the resolutions at the general meeting in London on 2 April.