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12/13/2005
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Diebold CEO Resigns

The company has faced questions about the software used in some of its voting machines. In addition, the aftereffects of Hurricane Katrina disrupted deliveries of the firm’s machines, affecting financial results negatively, Diebold reported earlier.

Diebold’s Walden W. O’Dell has abruptly resigned his positions as chairman and chief executive officer with Thomas W. Swidarski, currently the firm’s president and chief operating officer, named to take over as chief executive officer.

Diebold, a manufacturer of ATM, security, and voting machines, made the announcement late Monday. The company has faced questions about the software used in some of its voting machines. In addition, the aftereffects of Hurricane Katrina disrupted deliveries of the firm’s machines, affecting financial results negatively, Diebold reported earlier.

In the management reshuffling, O’Dell resigned his operating positions as well as his place on Diebold’s board of directors. Swidarski was elected to the company’s board of directors. Long-time director John N. Lauer was named “non-executive chairman of the board.”

"This has been a very challenging year for the company," said Swidarski in a statement. "We are beginning to make progress to improve some of our performance issues, reduce our cost structure by addressing inefficiencies in our manufacturing supply chain and software development processes, and instill price discipline throughout the company."

For its last three quarters, Diebold has reported declining earnings. In September, O’Dell took firmer control of the company’s leadership after a former president and COO had resigned. In its announcement Monday, Diebold said it is maintaining its earnings per share financial guidance of $.50 to $.60 per share for the fourth quarter.

Voting machines made by Diebold and others have been under fire in recent years as critics have complained they can be inaccurate.

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