Tan Sri Dr Khoo Kay Peng, who controls 60 per cent of the fashion to soft furnishings retailer, suffered a vote of no confidence of 12 per cent of the remaining shareholders. Other non-executive directors of Laura Ashley also faced similar shareholder votes against their re-elections, after a campaign
waged by the RREV, an offshoot of the National Association of Pension Funds.
Shareholders are thought to be concerned over the retailer's top-heavy hierarchy and a lack of retailing expertise within the highest levels of its management. The shareholder disquiet is a result of a period of turmoil for the retailer, once the stalwart of UK retailing in the 1980s. Laura Ashley revealed a drop in like-for-like sales for the 24 weeks to January 15.
In January, chief executive Ainum Mohd-Saaid resigned and was replaced by non-executive director Lillian Tan.