Getronics management forced to leave

The management board of Getronics NV, one of Europe's largest IT services providers, has been ousted after an internal dispute on how to run the company, Getronics said Friday.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Peter van Voorst, and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jan Docter were asked to leave by the company's supervisory board after "a difference of opinion" on how to manage the company, Getronics said in a statement.

With immediate effect, Axel Rückert and Klaas Wagenaar will take over daily management of the 25,000 person global company as chairman and vice-chairman, respectively. The official nomination of Rückert and Wagenaar to the management board will be proposed at a shareholder meeting on April 9, Getronics said.

Getronics is in the midst of a broad financial restructuring effort to cut its nearly €450 million (US$487 million) in net debt, much of it amassed when the Amsterdam company bought U.S. rival Wang Global in 1999. Customers have been asking questions about Getronics' continuity since November last year, when the company announced a second round of job cuts to further reduce its cost base.

Earlier this week Getronics said 60 percent of its bondholders now back a life-saving debt swap. The new management board supports the swap, Getronics said.

Rückert and Wagenaar have experience with large-scale financial restructuring and recovery operations, Getronics said. Rückert will be responsible for customers, strategy and operations, while Wagenaar will focus on the financial revitalization of the company and related activities.

Van Voorst joined Getronics and its predecessors in 1969 and became part of the company's management in 1985. He was named chairman and CEO in 2001. Docter was CFO since 1988.

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