The Suburbanite
  • Diebold striving to up financial performance

  •   Diebold is working to improve its financial performance and still searching for a chief executive officer.


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  • Diebold is working to improve its financial performance, Executive Chairman Henry D.G. Wallace told shareholders who attended the company’s annual meeting Thursday.
    The company has launched several changes since January, beginning with the removal of Thomas W. Swidarski as president and chief executive officer. Wallace wanted to reassure shareholders that Diebold’s directors have a plan in place to right the ship.
    The search for a new chief executive officer is proceeding, Wallace said. Directors “have been impressed by the strong caliber of individuals we have interviewed for the role,” he said.
    No timeline has been announced for selecting a chief executive. Diebold has said the focus is on finding the right person and Wallace repeated that comment to shareholders.
    In the meantime, Wallace and George Mayes, who was named chief operating officer in January, are directing daily operations.
    Wallace said the company has realigned to more rapidly seize marketplace opportunities and reduce cost structure.
    He said Mayes has globalized product development, service and supply chain operations to help streamline processes.
    Diebold also has begun several short-term cost reduction plans to counteract deteriorating profitability. The moves include costs and discretionary spending. Wallace said more details will be given when the company releases first quarter earnings next week.
    Wallace said Diebold’s business strategies have been good but results have been poor. He noted that Diebold’s revenue improved during 2012, but gains weren’t reflected in earnings.
    “We have struggled with the financials and we need to address that,” Wallace said.
    As part of the meeting’s business, shareholders re-elected Wallace and seven other board members. They also elected new board members Roberto Artavia, chairman of Viva Trust, in Nassau, Bahamas and San Jose, Costa Rica; and Robert S. Prather Jr., president and chief operating officer of Gray Television in Atlanta.
    Leaving the board are former chairman John N. Lauer, who has retired, and Mei-Wei Cheng, who stepped down because of his responsibilities leading Siemens in China.
    Directors also declared a second-quarter cash dividend of 28.75 cents per share. The dividend is payable June 7 to shareholders of record when business closes on May 17.
    Diebold shares closed at $29.84, gaining 11 cents in below average trading.

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