Box stockholders rebuff activist investors' bid for board changes

Box CEO Aaron Levie will remain on the board of directors, along with two other of Box's director nominees, after stockholders rejected alternate candidates nominated by activist investors at hedge fund Starboard Value LP.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

Box stockholders on Thursday voted to re-elect all of Box's director nominees, rebuffing a plan from activist directors to replace CEO Aaron Levie and two other members of the board. Box announced the outcome based on a preliminary vote count following the company's annual shareholder meeting. 

Along with Levie, the stockholder vote keeps former VeriSign CFO Dana Evan and McAfee CEO Peter Leav on the board of directors. 

Earlier this year, activist investors at hedge fund Starboard Value LP put forward its own slate of director nominees to Box's 10-person board, arguing that Box hasn't aggressively capitalized on the enterprise trends driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. For an activist investment firm like Starboard, the end game is to see Box acquired

Box, for its part, aims to position the company as the cloud layer for content management via integrations with systems of record in the enterprise. 

"Box appreciates the support and perspectives we have received from our stockholders throughout this process," the company said in a statement. "The Board and management team will remain focused on continuing to transform Box and executing Box's strategy to grow profitably and deliver significant value to all Box stockholders." 

Levie tweeted Thursday morning, "Incredibly fired up for the next phase of growth at Box."

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