Tom Swidarski, Diebold Inc.'s president and CEO, is leaving the company after its board decided to pursue new leadership, the ATM maker announced today. He is also leaving its board of directors.

Diebold has not chosen a permanent CEO to replace Swidarski. George S. Mayes Jr., Diebold's executive vice president of global operations, has become its chief operating officer, a new position. Mayes reports to Henry D.G. Wallace, executive chairman of Diebold's board. Mayes will handle daily operations and Wallace will handle oversight of the company until a new CEO is hired.

"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," said Wallace in a press release Jan. 24. "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."

Swidarski left his executive roles and resigned his position on Diebold's board Jan. 19, Diebold said in an SEC filing.

"Our anticipated revenue growth for the year is evidence that our markets remain sound," Wallace added.  "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."

Mayes started with Diebold in 2005 as its vice president of global manufacturing. He became its vice president of global operations in April 2008.

The board chose Mayes for COO to "identify areas that will help us accelerate the speed with which we reduce our cost structure and capitalize on changes in the marketplace," Wallace said. "His track record of delivering sound, fiscally responsible results in his career makes him ideally suited to lead our operations during this time of transition."

Diebold also announced preliminary earnings for the fourth quarter and full year. It expects to report $840 million in revenue from the fourth quarter of 2012, down 1% from revenue of $850 million a year earlier. It plans to announce a loss from continuing operations of 12 cents a share in the fourth quarter, compared to earnings of $1.26 a share a year earlier. Its fourth-quarter earnings reflect a $22 million pre-tax expense related to early buyout payments for pension participants.

For the full year, Diebold expects earnings per share of $1.28, compared to earnings of $2.23 a share a in 2011. Diebold plans to announce its full financial results Feb. 12.

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to include Diebold's preliminary fourth-quarter and full-year earnings.

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