Diebold CEO steps down

Security systems integrator and ATM maker Diebold announced on Thursday that it is making several changes to its senior management team after earnings fell short of projections for 2012.

According to a statement, Diebold President and CEO Thomas Swidarski is stepping down from the company and its board of directors. Swidarski has been with Diebold for the past 17 years, serving as its chief executive for the past seven.

George Mayes, Jr., the company’s executive vice president of global operations has been promoted to the newly created position of chief operating officer and will be responsible for daily operations until a new CEO is hired. Diebold said that it has already started the search process for a new CEO.

"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," Henry D.G. Wallace, Diebold executive chairman of the board, said in a statement. "As we look to the future, the board feels Diebold's strategies are sound given the company's progress on several fronts, including integrated services and the growth potential of electronic security.  Our anticipated revenue growth for the year is evidence that our markets remain sound. However, 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." 

In its preliminary fourth quarter and year-end results released on Thursday, the company said its earnings for 2012 would be $2.07 a share, compared to the $2.25 to $2.30 a share it forecasted. The company attributed the lower-than-expected earnings to a slowdown in the U.S. bank sector, declines in non-contract-based service work and higher costs in the U.S. service business partially due to the impact of certain items, such as an insurance liability charge and Hurricane Sandy. Diebold also said that it has continued to see activity delays in its Brazil business.  

As of 3:15 p.m. on Thursday, Diebold’s stock price had dropped more than eight percent to just under $30 a share.