Richard Leeds is standing aside as the CEO of Systemax after over 20 years at the helm as the firm unveiled widening annual losses.
Systemax's empire - built up over seven decades by the Leeds family - is shrinking rapidly, with the firm having exited both the North American retail and B2B markets last year.
Its remaining interests lie in the industrial products segment and in the European B2B resale space, where it operates mainly through the Misco brand.
The recent restructuring took a heavy toll on its 2015 GAAP results, with net losses for the 12 months ending 31 December 2015 widening from $32m to $48.5m and revenues falling 11.8 per cent to $1.85bn.
In its annual results statement, the NYSE-listed firm announced its board has approved an executive management succession plan that will see Leeds move from CEO to the role of executive chairman role, effective 10 March. Stepping into his shoes will be current CFO Larry Reinhold.
Systemax was founded in 1949 by Michael and Paul Leeds in Queens, New York, as a material handling business.
It began selling computer equipment in 1981, founding a UK computer supply business in Scotland in 1990 and acquiring Misco in 1992. Richard Leeds joined Systemax as a college graduate in 1982 - five years after his brothers Robert and Bruce started work at the firm - taking the CEO role in 1995.
Robert and Bruce will continue to serve as vice chairmen, Systemax said.
"With today's announcement, we enable a smooth transition to a proven executive in Larry Reinhold, while providing for ongoing leadership from Richard, Robert and Bruce Leeds, who have guided Systemax since it was a small, family business operating out of a single location on Long Island to the Fortune 1000 multinational company it is today," said Robert D. Rosenthal, Systemax's Lead Independent Director and chair of its Governance Committee.
Despite the ugly results, Leeds said there is cause for optimism now its exit from its North American Technology Group, assets of which were sold to PCM in December, is largely behind it.
Its industrial products group enjoyed an "outstanding" year, with organic sales up nearly 10 per cent, Leeds said. The EMEA Technology Products Group is also showing signs of improvement following the arrival of new leadership here, as was revealed by CRN, Leeds added, with French sales growing 20 per cent in Q4.
"In the UK we have recently recruited a number of experienced sales professionals and anticipate improved sales and performance levels," Leeds said.
Commenting on his change of role, Leeds added: "I am very proud of what we have accomplished and look forward to being part of the company's continued success."
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