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Urban Outfitters Board Slammed by Group for ‘Extreme Insularity’

  • Union-affiliated investor recommends voting against directors
  • Chain only has two female directors, one of whom is CEO’s wife
An Urban Outfitters Inc. store in San Francisco.

An Urban Outfitters Inc. store in San Francisco.

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

An Urban Outfitters Inc. investor group is urging shareholders to vote against the re-election of two directors, saying the board’s “extreme insularity” has contributed to its weak performance. 

CtW Investment Group, a union-affiliated firm that often takes up corporate-governance issues, is making the recommendation in a letter to investors on Monday. The nine-member Urban Outfitters board has only two women, one of whom is Chief Executive Officer Richard Hayne’s wife, Margaret. The directors also have an average tenure of 19 years, compared with an average of 9.4 years for the S&P mid-cap index, according to the letter.