Activist Starboard seeks to nominate directors to Box board

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Jeffrey Smith, CEO of Starboard Value LP and Chairman of Papa John's International Inc., speaks during an interview on CNBC on the floor of the NYSE in New York

(Reuters) -Starboard Value LP plans to nominate directors to the board of cloud services provider Box Inc, the activist investor said on Monday, saying the company had fallen short on meeting expectations of profitable growth.

Starboard, which owns about 7.7% of Box, said the company had failed to capitalize on the work-from-home trend during the COVID-19 pandemic as many of its cloud computing peers have done.

Box in response said it was confident it could meet its revenue goals, helped by demand for products like Box Shield and Box Relay, its product roadmap and market opportunity.

The cloud service company also said it would continue to engage with Starboard but does not believe more changes to the board were "warranted or in the best interests of all stockholders."

Box highlighted that it had added three new directors to its board under an agreement with Starboard last year.

Starboard, led by hedge fund veteran Jeffrey Smith, has pushed for changes at several technology companies including chipmaker Marvell Technology Group Ltd, ON Semiconductor Corp, cybersecurity firm NortonLifeLock Inc and internet services firm Yahoo Inc.

Box said last month private equity giant KKR & Co Inc would lead a $500 million investment in the company weeks after Reuters reported Box was exploring a sale amid pressure from hedge fund Starboard Value LP.

(Reporting by Uday Sampath and Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Ramakrishnan M.)