In a rather tersely worded statement, Avid Technologies ousted its CEO Louis Hernandez, Jr. and appointed the company’s president Jeff Rosica to the position. Hernandez also resigned his position as a member of the board. He was fired for violations of company policies related to workplace conduct. In an additional move, Nancy Hawthorne was elected Chairman of Avid’s Board of Directors.
Here’s the company’s statement:
“Avid or (“The Company”), a leading global media technology provider for the creation, distribution and monetization of media assets for global media organizations, enterprise users and individual creative professionals, today announced that the Company’s Board of Directors has appointed Jeff Rosica as Chief Executive Officer of Avid, effective immediately. The Company’s Board of Directors has terminated the employment of Louis Hernandez, Jr., former Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately, due to violations of Company policies related to workplace conduct. Mr. Hernandez has also resigned from his position on the Avid Board of Directors and Nancy Hawthorne has been elected Chairman of the Board.
Mr. Rosica, who joined Avid in early 2013, is a well-known industry veteran with more than 30 years’ experience in broadcast, media and entertainment. Prior to his role as President, he served as Senior Vice President, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer for the Company.
Nancy Hawthorne, Chairman of the Avid Board of Directors, said, “Jeff’s deep experience as an industry expert coupled with his impressive knowledge of Avid’s business and strategy make him the natural choice to lead the Company.”
Jeff Rosica, President and Chief Executive Officer of Avid, said, “I am honored and excited for this opportunity to lead Avid through this important moment in the Company’s history. The outlook for Avid is strong, and I look forward to working with the leadership team, the Board and our incredibly talented employees as we execute on our strategic priorities and continue our journey to be a best-in-class company and leader in our industry.”
With the assistance of independent external legal counsel, a Special Committee comprising independent members of the Board of Directors conducted a thorough investigation into allegations of improper non-financially related workplace conduct by Mr. Hernandez. After reviewing the findings of the Special Committee’s investigation, the Board of Directors unanimously concluded that the findings warranted immediate termination of Mr. Hernandez’s employment.
Ms. Hawthorne continued, “The Board is committed to the Company’s core values and to upholding an environment of the utmost respect and integrity. We remain confident in the strategy and the long-term business plan of the Company.”
This was a swift and unexpected move that initially caused Avid’s stock to fall, then rise a little bit after the news settled in. No one likes turmoil in a company, especially when so many professional lives are tied to Pro Tools, but Avid has seemed rudderless for some time, so this change actually brings some hope that the company will return to its innovative beginnings that reshaped the industry so drastically.