On Thursday, Diebold (NYSE:DBD) announced preliminary fourth-quarter earnings, headlined by a 1% decline in revenue year-over-year, a $0.12-per-share GAAP loss from continuing operations, and a free cash flow number that, in the company's own words, fell "well short of expectations."
Simultaneously, Diebold announced a series of changes in its leadership. Specifically:
- Chief Executive Officer Tom Swidarski has resigned from his post and from the board of directors, effective immediately. The company says it is already searching for a replacement.
- Executive Vice President for Global Operations George S. Mayes Jr. has been promoted to the newly created position of chief operating officer.
- Chairman of the Board Henry D.G. Wallace will assume the duties of a CEO (but not the title of CEO or even interim CEO) until a new CEO is hired. Mayes will be "responsible for daily operations."
Looking forward, Diebold guided investors to expect flat revenues and pro forma earnings "flat to down moderately." On the plus side, free cash flow is expected to improve this year, in comparison to last.
In a statement, Wallace explained the management shift by saying, "the company's execution of its strategies has not been what we want or expect and we have underperformed against the opportunities in the marketplace."
"We wish to thank Tom for the leadership and integrity he provided during his 17-year career at Diebold -- the past seven years as our chief executive. This was a very difficult decision, and we wish Tom all the best in the next step in his career," Wallace was quoted as saying. "Progress has been made over the past several years in many areas. However, the board's judgment is that given the company's ongoing performance and pace with which it is delivering tangible value, it is in our stakeholders' best interests to make a change in leadership at this time."
The stock was down 8.5% as of this writing.