16/06/2006 - 05:00 am

Thomas Equipment Terminates President, Announces Major Corporate Restructuring

Milwaukee-based Thomas Equipment recently reported that the board of directors has terminated President and Chief Executive Officer Clifford Rhee and has accepted his resignation effective immediately. James E. Patty, current chief operating officer, will act as interim chief executive officer.

"The board of directors believes this action is consistent with the restructuring plan that was previously announced," said David Marks, chairman of the board.

Soon after this announcement, the company also announced that its board of directors has approved a broad based restructuring to evaluate all corporate business activities and identify any operating and management deficiencies immediately.

"The board of directors began this significant initiative because the company has failed to generate the desired operating and financial results," said Marks. "We believe that significant changes are required to revitalize the company to maximize operating efficiencies and future financial performance."

The major restructuring is designed to provide Thomas Equipment with appropriate management and financial resources to address short-term needs and successfully execute on longer-term strategic opportunities. It will affect all areas of the business, including but not limited to the supply chain, working capital management, operating procedures, and management leadership. Throughout this process, a primary objective is to ensure that relationships with customers, suppliers, distributors, employees, creditors and investors are strengthened. This effort is being led by Patty, who joined the company as chief operating officer on May 9, 2006.

Patty is an executive with 25 years of proven leadership in managing international operations and has a history of building efficient production operations, strategically expanding production capacity and creating shareholder value. His expertise includes re-engineering large organizations, supply chain management, creating markets, developing distribution channels, and accelerating profitable sales growth. Patty has also spearheaded numerous financings and merger and acquisition activities.

"We believe the restructuring plan will take approximately six months to complete,” said Patty. “During this time, we plan to provide our customers, suppliers, distributors, employees, creditors and investors with regular updates regarding our process. We thank each for their ongoing support, patience and understanding."


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