Activist Investor Ryan Cohen Buys a Stake in Nordstrom and Pursues Board Shakeup

Nordstrom shareholders cheered the news, raising stock price 28 percent overnight.

A Nordstrom logo on a store.
Nordstrom’s stock price has fallen since 2015. LightRocket via Getty Images

Ryan Cohen, an activist investor and founder of Chewy (CHWY), bought a “sizable stake” in Nordstrom and plans to shake up its board of directors, the Wall Street Journal reported Feb. 2. The stock surged in premarket trading following the announcement and opened today (Feb. 3) at $26.80, a 28 percent increase.

The investor is looking to replace at least one director on the board, and he is eyeing Mark Tritton, former Bed Bath & Beyond chief executive. Cohen sees Tritton as “conflicted and unqualified,” the Journal reported. Cohen reportedly has a pair of retail and e-commerce executives in mind for a board seat.

Nordstrom is open to hearing Cohen’s ideas, as it does with all shareholders, a Nordstrom spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

Cohen is one of the top five non-family shareholders in Nordstrom, according to the Journal. He built his fortune on Chewy, the online pet products retailer, and is known for helping drive the price of meme stock GameStop. Cohen’s net worth is $2.5 billion, according to Reuters.

Nordstrom’s share price fell to $15.80 last month after shares cost double that last April. The share price has fallen since 2015 when it hit a high of $80.90.

Update: This article has been updated with a statement from Nordstrom.

Activist Investor Ryan Cohen Buys a Stake in Nordstrom and Pursues Board Shakeup