Aimia CEO out as overhauled board shifts away from loyalty programs

Aimia CEO out as overhauled board shifts away from loyalty programs
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MONTREAL — Aimia Inc. has replaced its CEO and shaken up its board as it tries to pivot from rewards programs to a new strategy as an investment holding company.

The company says the board has appointed Philip Mittleman as interim chief executive, effective immediately in light of the “different skills” required by the change in direction and following a tumultuous year of shareholder unrest and litigation.

Aimia, which sold its Aeroplan points program to Air Canada last year, says an ad hoc strategic review committee formed by the new board has opted to focus on long-term investments in public and private companies.

The company is also selling a majority stake in its money-losing loyalty points business to Waterloo, Ont.-based Kognitiv Corp., a deal that is expected to close on May 29.

The board overhaul at Wednesday’s annual general meeting was prompted by a group of dissident shareholders last year.

After a drawn-out fight over control of the company, the two sides settled on a deal in November that marked a partial surrender to Charles Frischer, who had sought to overthrow half of the eight-member board, and to Philip Mittleman, its largest shareholder who was locked in a court battle with the firm.

All of the company’s directors, excluding Mittleman and Rabe, had confirmed they would not stand for election to the board at Wednesday’s meeting.

Aimia shares rose nearly nine per cent or 19 cents to $2.40 in midday trading Wednesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 29, 2020.

Companies in this story: (TSX:AIM, TSX:AC)

The Canadian Press

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