Ellies, the struggling manufacturer of satellite and electrical products, has made a surprising U-turn on its controversial decision to effectively ignore a stinging rebuke from more than half its shareholders. The boardroom soap opera at Ellies follows a tumultuous few months since Adrian Bock quit as CEO in June 2018, which sparked a game of musical chairs at the company. On December 14, Ellies asked shareholders to vote to approve the appointment of three new directors, including CEO Shaun Prithivirajh and Fikile Mkhize as interim chair. Investors weren’t impressed, and 53% voted against appointing them, as well as lead independent director Reshoketswe Ralebepa. The response of the board, led by Ian Russell, might best be described as novel. Russell relied on a little-known section of Ellies’ memorandum of incorporation to overrule the wishes of most of his shareholders and confirm Mkhize and Ralebepa as directors. Prithivirajh remained as CEO but without a board position. So the...

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