Antioco Reappointed Blockbuster Chairman13 May, 2005 By: Erik Gruenwedel
As expected, Blockbuster Inc.'s board of directors today unanimously reconfirmed CEO John Antioco chairman of the board.
The move, which increases the number of board seats to eight, was expected despite shareholders' decision Wednesday — by a 77 percent margin — not to re-elect Antioco to the board.
Blockbuster said the independent inspector of election had certified the results of the shareholder vote.
The CEO and board incumbents Linda Griego and Peter Bassi lost their board seats to dissident shareholder Carl Icahn and his slate of nominees, including former BMG Entertainment CEO Strauss Zelnick and Warner Bros. executive Edward Bleier.
Despite his outspoken criticism toward Antioco's management and compensation, Icahn has maintained a desire for Antioco's return to the board. Many analysts say the move allows for a continuation of management and prohibits Antioco from exercising a $54 million “golden parachute” compensation package.
“I am pleased that both the incumbent and new directors have asked me to continue to serve as Blockbuster's chairman in the interests of building shareholder value,” said Antioco. “I believe that Blockbuster has a world-class brand, great employees and franchisees, and a strong potential for future success. I look forward to working with the board and our management team to maximize our many strengths and growth opportunities in the future.”