Games Workshop announced the retirement plans of Tom Kirby on their Investor Relations page, and were pleased to announce who will be taking his place as the new Non-Executive Chairman.
Games Workshop Group PLC (“Games Workshop” or the “Company”) today announces that Tom Kirby has advised the board of his intention to retire as a director of the Company with effect from the conclusion of the Company’s Annual General Meeting on 13 September 2017. He will not seek re-election as a director of Games Workshop thereafter. In the interests of continuing the smooth transfer of power and responsibility to the new executive board team, following the AGM, Tom will be appointed a consultant to the Company for a period of 12 months.
Nick Donaldson will become non-executive chairman of Games Workshop on Tom Kirby’s retirement. Nick has been a non-executive director of Games Workshop since April 2002.
As non-executive chairman one of Nick’s key responsibilities will be to lead a review of the composition of the Company’s board and to set in motion a process to appoint new non-executive directors of the Company.
We don’t know if this is a full retirement from Games Workshop, or if Mr. Kirby currently holds any other job positions. Was this a forced retirement, or is Tom Kirby stepping down on his own?
Last year, Richard Beddard had a lot to say about GW’s financial report, and he made four BIG points about it in his weekly column, with one of them being Mr. Kirby’s perceived effect on the company:
Beddard’s Four Points:
The firm is committed to returning cash it doesn’t need for investment to shareholders
The core customers are modellers who may never play the game.
But I’m not confident about Games Workshop and the reason isn’t, specifically, one of the putative challenges put up by naysayers over the years: (It is the following?):
- the emergence of competing model and game designers,
- the availability of counterfeit models on the Internet,
- or the possibility that in future modellers might print their own miniatures using 3D printers.
(Tom Kirby) Is he worth it?
The report gives the impression of a company run ruthlessly from the top down.
Kirby may be worth it – the annual report doesn’t divulge what he does – but his defence of the board is symptomatic of Games Workshop’s communications with stakeholders.
Source of extreme frustration
This is the source of my extreme frustration: 2016 was a relatively bad year for the core business, yet Games Workshop is healthy. A share price of just under 490p values the enterprise at just over £200 million, or 13 times adjusted profit (including royalties).
Well after that, how do you as a hobbyist think this conclusion sounds bases on what you know of events of the past year?
Is Games Workshop moving forward, on the wrong track, or perhaps both?
Is the retirement of Tom Kirby going to help turn this company around from the top down?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.