Canadian ice-cream maker CoolBrands International has announced that nine directors will be proposed to shareholders at its annual meeting on 25 February, rather than the eleven originally suggested.

The move follows the death of co-chairman and co-CEO Richard Smith on 29 January.

“In November, the company’s board of directors committed to establishing a majority of independent directors in order to strengthen the company’s corporate governance,” said David J. Stein, CoolBrands’ co-chairman and CEO. “With Richard Smith’s recent unfortunate passing, the company can fulfil this important commitment with a smaller board comprised of nine members.”

L. Joshua Sosland has agreed to stand for election to the Board position vacated by the death of Richard Smith, while Irwin Simon and Mark Stevens will no longer be standing for election. Sosland is the vice-chairman of Sosland Publishing, publishers of World Grain magazine.