Japan’s 7-Eleven operator picks former Uber executive as it looks overseas

Logo of Seven & I Holdings is seen at its headquarters in Tokyo

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese retailer Seven & I Holdings Co, facing pressure from activist investors for structural reforms, has nominated a former executive of Uber Technologies Inc to join its board of directors, the company said on Tuesday.

The operator of the 7-Eleven chain of convenience stores has named Elizabeth Miin Meyerdirk, a founding members of Uber Eats, who will join as a new outside director, pending approval from shareholders at a May 26 annual meeting.

Facing a shrinking domestic market, the company said this month that it would seek growth overseas, particularly in North America, and would also expand online shopping and delivery services in Japan.

Seven & I said this month it would revamp the board to ensure a majority came from outside the company, bringing in management skills to guide growth outside Japan.

U.S.-based activist fund ValueAct Capital, which holds a stake of 4.4%, has been urging it to shake up the board and sell off underperforming assets.

Seven & I could more than double its share price by focusing on its convenience stores, the fund has said.

(Reporting by Rocky Swift; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)