Quiksilver CEO, Board Sued by Investor Over Stock Incentives

Quiksilver Inc. (ZQK)’s Chief Executive Officer Robert McKnight and the board of the surfwear brand were sued by an investor over stock incentives.

Awards of 4 million restricted stock units to McKnight, Pierre Agnes, president of Quiksilver Europe, and Craig Stevenson, the company’s chief operating officer, violated a 2000 stock incentive plan, according to the complaint filed today by the Vladimir Gusinsky Living Trust.

The awards are “a waste of the company’s corporate assets and a breach of fiduciary duties owed to the company and its shareholders by the members of the compensation committee,” the trust said in the filing in Delaware Chancery Court.

The trust, which says it has held Quiksilver stock since July 2006, is seeking a court order directing Huntington Beach, California-based clothing maker to improve its corporate governance procedures in addition to unspecified damages on behalf of the company.

Quiksilver’s compensation committee awarded restricted stock units to company officials in June 2011. The awards to McKnight, Stevenson and Agnes violated the company’s stock incentive which capped such awards to 800,000 stock units, according to the trust. The committee’s actions put at risk the tax deductibility of the 2011 awards, according to the trust.

Quiksilver officials weren’t immediately available for comment on the complaint.

The case is The Vladimir Gusinsky Living Trust v. McKnight Jr., CA8074, Delaware Chancery Court (Wilmington)

To contact the reporter on this story: Sophia Pearson in Philadelphia at spearson3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.

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