Mace CEO terminated for 'willful misconduct'
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.Ã¢â‚¬â€According to a filing with the SEC, Mace Security International has removed Louis Paolino from its board of directors and terminated his tenure as chief executive officer, citing Ã¢â‚¬Å“willful misconduct.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The companyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s bylaws authorize the removal of a director at any time by the unanimous vote of all other directors. This vote occurred during a special meeting of the board held May 20. Ã¢â‚¬Å“The actions of Mr. Paolino that the Board has determined as willful misconduct generally relate to the BoardÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s belief that Mr. Paolino has not followed the instructions of the Board or sufficiently performed his supervisory duties,Ã¢â‚¬Â according to the filing.
Board member Gerald LaFlamme, president of JL Development Company and a board member since December, will take over as interim chief executive officer, and board member Jack Mallon, managing director of investment banking firm Mallon Associates, has assumed the chairman role.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I served as lead independent member of the board,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Mallon, Ã¢â‚¬Å“and I intend to play an active role going forward in attempting to dramatically improve company performance.Ã¢â‚¬Â He also said heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s serving as chairman of the search committee for a new permanent CEO. Ã¢â‚¬Å“WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re receptive,Ã¢â‚¬Â he noted, Ã¢â‚¬Å“to receiving inquiries from security industry executives and others who may feel qualified to perform.Ã¢â‚¬Â
This action to remove Paolino comes on the heels of positive-looking financial results released by Mace at the end of March. Net income for Q1 was roughly $4 million, compared to a loss of $658,000 in Q1 2007. According to a release, Ã¢â‚¬Å“The increase in revenues was primarily due to the addition of $5.4 million in revenue from MaceÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Digital Media Marketing Segment, which Mace purchased in July 2007. The increase in total revenues was offset by a slight decline in revenues of approximately $150,000 in MaceÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Security Segment, resulting in Security Segment revenues of $5.3 million in the first quarter of 2008 compared to $5.4 million in 2007.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Further, the financial results look less positive when you pull out roughly $6.2 million the company pulled in from discontinued operations, largely the sale of car washes. Looking just at net income from continuing operations, the company lost $2.27 million, slightly more than Q4 2007.
Mace vice president Eduardo Nieves did not want to veer from the SEC filing in discussing PaolinoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s removal, but said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“the business plan for the company remains the same and we enjoy the business that weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re in.
Look for an interview with the new president of Mace's security division, Devin Benjamin, in the July issue of Security Systems News.