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No Protection for Defense Company CFO

In wide shake-up at contractor Force Protection, whose products shield troops from I.E.D.'s., the finance chief joins the COO and CEO in exiting.
Stephen TaubMarch 4, 2008

The chief financial officer is leaving defense contractor Force Protection Inc. amid a wider management shake-up that follows its announcement of a financial restatement.

The Ladson, S.C.-based company said it expects to restate the Sept. 30 quarter and nine-month periods as a result of errors discovered by management during its year-end review. The errors include some related to accounts payable associated with inventory purchased from a subcontractor as a result of a contract termination.

The company said it is trying to determine if these errors create additional control deficiencies that could impact its assessment of the effectiveness of internal controls over financial reporting. It added that it would be unable to file its 2007 statements on time.

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The company said that CFO Michael Durski left the company “to pursue other interests,” and that COO Raymond Pollard also departed.

Francis E. Scheuerell, a managing director of Huron Consulting Group LLC, was named interim CFO, and Force Protection said it has begun an external search to select a new CFO.

The company also named Michael Moody as CEO, president, and chairman, replacing CEO Gordon McGilton, who left at the end of January.

Force Protection makes “survivability equipment,” predominantly ballistic- and blast-protected wheeled vehicles currently deployed by the U.S. military — including some used to shield troops in Iraq against improvised explosive devices, or I.E.D.’s.

“The changes we are announcing today are intended to mark the beginning of a new chapter in the history of this company,” said Moody. “In order to leverage the opportunities that exist for us, we must take decisive action both internally and externally. We will quickly address our shortcomings and further strengthen the areas of our business that have carried us thus far. As we do so, the culture at Force Protection will change.”