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Saturday, March 6, 2021

Farmer Bros. shareholders back management as company prepares to move into North Texas

Farmer Bros. Co. shareholders settled a family dispute at a shareholder’s meeting Thursday in Fort Worth, just as the California company prepares to filter employees into a new 538,000-square-foot headquarters facility in Northlake.

At the company’s 2016 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, stockholders voted to reelect all three of Farmer Bros.’ director nominees – Michael H. Keown, Charles F. Marcy and Christopher P. Mottern – to the company’s Board of Directors. The vote ended the family squabble that began when a granddaughter of Roy E. Farmer, the company’s founder, called for changes in leadership and criticizing the company’s plan to move to North Texas from Torrance, California.

In a statement, the company said: “We are pleased with the outcome of today’s vote, which reaffirms that we are on the right track, with the right team and the right plan in place. We would like to thank our stockholders for the confidence they have expressed in our Board of Directors and management team as well as the support they have provided for the company’s turnaround plan.”

Earlier this year, the stockholder group led by Carol Farmer Waite, the founder’s granddaughter, and some other members of the founding family, which owns about 23 percent of outstanding shares of the company’s stock, delivered a letter to the board of directors saying the group had concerns about the company’s strategic direction.

The group, called Save Farmer Bros. called into question many decisions by the company’s current management, including what the group calls a “misguided decision to quickly move Farmer Bros.’ headquarters to Texas.”

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Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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