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Ubisoft Expands Board Of Directors To Protect Against Vivendi Interference

by Mike Futter on Jul 05, 2016 at 03:13 AM

Ubisoft has announced that it has nominated two new independent directors to be approved at the September 29 general shareholders meeting. With one sitting independent member leaving the board, this grows the number of directors to 10.

If approved, Frédérique Dame and Florence Naviner will join the board. Dame helped grow taxi service Uber from 80 to 7,000 employees from 2012 to 2016. Naviner is the chief financial officer and senior vice president of Wrigley. One current independent director, Estelle Metayer, will be leaving her seat on the board after the September 29 meeting.

This would bring the number of independent directors to five at a crucial moment for Ubisoft leadership. With Vivendi growing its control and demanding board representation, this would dilute the encroaching company’s ability to steer the publisher.

For more on Vivendi’s attempt at a hostile takeover of Ubisoft, check out our extensive explainer on the situation. You can also read more about how Vivendi took control of Gameloft, another company founded by Ubisoft’s Guillemot family, here.

[Source: Ubisoft]


Our Take
If you’ve never dealt with corporate governance, you might think the appointment of someone who worked for Yahoo and Uber and another individual working in the food space might be a strange fit. When selecting board members, you look for skill sets of the individuals, and you don’t want them to have conflicts of interest.

In this case, Dame brings extensive technology and human resources experience. Naviner has 30 years of finance and corporate strategy expertise. These are the people you want when under threat of corporate takeover.