New Frontier Media ousts longtime leader
New Frontier Media (Nasdaq: NOOF) announced Weiner's departure in a tersely worded press release Tuesday. The release said Weiner "has been terminated," but it gave no explanation for the move or paid any tribute to Weiner.
New Frontier Media produces adult and mainstream movies and distributes them via pay-per-view or on-demand service to cable and satellite companies. New Frontier Media's headquarters and broadcast facility are in Boulder.
Officers of the company have not responded to requests for comment.
Weiner cofounded New Frontier Media in 1995 and was promoted to CEO in January 2004, according to the biography that remains on New Frontier Media's website.
New Frontier Media's termination of Weiner continues a tumultuous time for the company, which had a share price above $11 in January 2004.
New Frontier Media has spent much of 2012 in a struggle with two companies that launched unsolicited takeover bids in March. The performance of New Frontier Media's leadership team has come up in the dispute.
The first takeover attempt was launched by Longkloof Ltd., a company based in the Channel Islands between the United Kingdom and France. The company owns about 15 percent of New Frontier Media and wanted to acquire the rest.
"We do not believe the current Board is capable or willing to undertake the actions necessary to enable NOOF to compete in the future, as the track record established by the current board over the past several years has been dismal," the announcement of Longkloof's hostile takeover said.
The letter held the board accountable for New Frontier's anemic stock price, which fell to $1.13 on March 9, when the takeover was launched. Its stock price at the start of trading Wednesday was $1.37.
A rival suitor, Luxembourg-based Manwin Holding S.arl, launched a takeover bid later in March. The company said it was "highly impressed with New Frontier Media, its board of directors, management team and operations."
On an interim basis, Weiner's duties at New Frontier will be split between chief financial officer Grant Williams, chief legal officer Marc Callipari and chief technology officer Scott Piper, the release said.
New Frontier Media's board of directors will search for a replacement. Alan Isaacman, a director of New Frontier Media since 1999, will become chairman of the board.
A special committee of independent members of the New Frontier board is reviewing the two bids as well as discussing if the company should be sold at all. Jonathan Doorley, a representative of the board, said it had no further comment.
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