ORC parent infoUSA Inc. has appointed three new board members, and set up a Special Committee in response to ongoing shareholder litigation and a scheduled informal investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
The new directors are: George Krauss, currently a consultant to the Burlington Capital Group; Thomas Weatherford, previously Executive VP and CFO of Business Objects SA; and Robin Chandra, Managing Partner of the investment group, Bessemer Venture Partners. Chandra succeeds Anshoo Gupta, who died on 19th December, while the other two are in newly elected positions.
The Omaha, Nebraska-based firm appointed five of its board members to the ‘Special Committee for Internal Investigation and Derivative Litigation’. In addition to the three new appointees, they are: Bill Fairfield, a Director of infoUSA since 2005 and Chairman of DreamField Capital Ventures; and Bernard Reznicek, a Director since 2006 and President and CEO of Premier Enterprises Inc.
The SEC is looking into founder Vin Gupta's handling of the company. Last June, the board defeated an attempt to unseat three members at its AGM, following heated criticism from minor shareholders including Dolphin Limited Partnership and Cardinal Capital, who also filed a mismanagement lawsuit (www.mrweb.com/drno/news6898.htm
). Among the claims, shareholders say CEO Vin Gupta used company funds to fly Bill and Hillary Clinton to Mexico and other locations.
CFO Stormy Dean says the new committee will start investigating the allegations immediately and will be independent of any possible influence from Vin Gupta, who owns 40% of the firm and has already asserted that the Clinton trips broke no laws. Dean says the new committee ‘has the possibility of bringing the shareholder lawsuit to resolution’ and may satisfy the SEC, but stressed that this was not certain.
Web site: www.infousa.com