A complaint was filed today against Quiksilver’s Chief Executive Officer Robert McKnight and the brand’s board for alleged violations of a stock incentive plan established in 2000. The complaint, filed by the Vladimir Gusinsky Living Trust, alleges that awards of four million restricted stock units to McKnight, president of Quiksilver Europe Pierre Agnes, and Craig Stevenson, the company's chief operating officer, violated the aforementioned stock incentive plan.
The man behind the trust, Vladimir Gusinsky, is a wealthy Russian media mogul who says his trust has held Quiksilver stock since July 2006. In the lawsuit filing, Gusinksy’s trust has called the restricted stock awards allegedly administered to McKnight, Agnes and Stevenson “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.”
For more on the story, see below, courtesy of Bloomberg News’ Sophia Pearson:
The trust 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).