Sanders, who was finance director at SSL until December 2000 when he joined Baltimore, will retain his duties as CFO. SSL is now being investigated by KMPG forensic accountants over an overstatement which occured during a period when Sanders was FD.
On announcing his resignation, Rooney said: ‘After five years with Baltimore I have decided to pursue other interest which include board positions that have been offered to me. These include a role as chairman of an e-learning company.’
It is believed Rooney will collect about £450,000 in compensation for his loss of office. Last year, he sold £6.8m worth of shares, which would have been valued at only £380,000 at yesterday’s price. But the former chief executive still holds about 6 million shares in the company.
Last week, Baltimore announced it was undertaking a restructuring plan of its global businesses ‘to manage the business within its current cash resources’. The changes stem from an operational review carried out in May and include a reduction of staff. Baltimore expects to generate savings of about £14m per year from these changes.
The restructuring plan comes after a series of lowered revenue expectations and profit warnings in the first quarter. Revenues for the first quarter amounted to £23.7m, below the estimate of £25m lowered in March.
Investors welcomed the resignation, and shares for the company, which have dropped 58% in one month, rose 6p to close at 25p. The resignation also fuelled rumours in the City that Baltimore could be taken over, but Sanders denied this.
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