CD Warehouse Makes More Leadership Changes

Article excerpt

In yet another round of corporate-style musical chairs at CD Warehouse, Ronald V. Perry has resigned as a director of the company, while Stephen B. Browne and Eugene I. Davis have been appointed to its board of directors.

The resignation and appointments were announced Monday as CD Warehouse franchisees continued a public relations battle with the company's corporate office.

The two new company directors bring with them a background in the corporate and franchise worlds, company officials noted, although neither has any previous connection with CD Warehouse.

Brown, the president, chairman and chief executive of All- American Bottling, is a third-generation soft drink bottler who has spent his entire career in the industry. Browne has served as the general sales manager of the Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Miami from 1968-72 and was vice chairman of Full Service Beverage from 1972- 90. He has also served as president of the Royal Crown Cola Bottlers Association.

Davis is the chairman and CEO of Murdock Communications, a telecommunications enterprise, and CEO of SmarTalk Teleservices, a prepaid calling card services provider. Davis also serves as a director of Coho Energy, Eagle Geophysical, Murdock Communications, and Tipperary. During 1998 and 1999 he was the chief operating officer of Total-Tel Communications, a long-distance phone service provider. Prior to that he was CEO of Sport Supply Group, a sporting goods and athletic equipment distributor, and was president of Emerson Radio, a distributor of consumer electronics.

Perry is the third official at CD Warehouse to resign in the last month. On Aug. 30, Jerry W. Grizzle was appointed chairman emeritus and relinquished his position as the company's CEO, with Christopher M. Salyer named his replacement. David S. Race was named the company's chief operating officer on the same date. On Sept. 1, Doyle E. Motley resigned as the company's senior vice president and chief financial officer.

Perry's resignation also follows the public criticism of the company by the membership of the CD Warehouse Franchisee Association. On Friday, the association announced the suspension of negotiations with CD Warehouse, criticizing the company's new management team and threatening litigation.

Specifically, the franchisee association members complained that CD Warehouse had allowed its point-of-sale system to deteriorate, resulting in serious financial damages for franchisees. For the first half of 2000, CD Warehouse posted a net loss of $600,034, or 16 cents per share. However, revenue rose 16.2 percent from a year ago to $16.4 million. …