As a capital markets day ever went so badly?
Yesterday I asked readers of this column to see the THG share price for Citi’s decision on Matt Molding’s qualifications as CEO of Public Markets. The answer is echoing.
The relationship between THG and the city is about as bad as you can get. Analysts are complaining of a lack of trust and one told me: “Some people are saying it’s Manchester’s WeWork.”
It seems exaggerated. But what is clear is that the molding is out of its depth.
Part of the problem is the aggressive governance structure. Molding insisted on maintaining complete control over the IPO, holding both the acting chairman and CEO roles. The arrangement raised eyebrows in the city, but investors were willing to ignore it as long as the situation was good.
The current crisis shows that investors were right to be concerned. Good governance isn’t just something to bang on – it preserves value and can protect a business.
A few more gray hairs in the boardroom right now would be invaluable. Seasoned directors know what public market investors want — and don’t want — to hear. Molding clearly doesn’t: The stock is down 60% so far this year. It’s never okay to blame short sellers for your problems.
Misplaced molding steps suggest that THG needs an overhaul at the top. He should step down from the chair and bring in an independent person with public market experience to play the role.
THG’s boardroom is in need of a jolt—and fast.