Bill Beckman, president of Clarion Technologies Inc. since 1999, resigned Dec. 11 from the financially troubled molder of parts for appliance, automotive and consumer products.
Steven Olmstead, who was named Clarion's chief executive officer Nov. 21, now also is president. Olmstead, a turnaround specialist, has been a member of the company's board of directors since 2002.
Clarion also announced several other management moves:
* Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey Gillesse also was appointed chief restructuring officer. Gillesse replaced the previous CFO, Edmund Walsh, who resigned in August.
* John Brownlow, who has been vice president of sales since 2001, was named vice president of operations.
Clarion is traded on the Over- the-Counter Bulletin Board. Its stock is trading for less than 5 cents a share.
The highly leveraged Clarion, which generates more than 60 percent of its sales from Stockholm, Sweden-based appliance maker Electrolux AB, is retrenching its operations. The company is closing its headquarters plant in Caledonia, Mich., and moving the production to its factory in Greenville, Mich.
Electrolux closed its refrigerator plant in Greenville in 2005 and moved the work to a new assembly site in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Clarion opened its own plant in Ciudad Juarez to mold shelves, trays and other components for Electrolux, but in a third-quarter report issued Nov. 20, officials said the Mexican operation has been a financial drain.
``Operating losses sustained in the Ju rez plant were substantially higher than expected in the third quarter of fiscal 2006,'' Clarion reported. The company blamed most of the losses on inefficient production, logistical problems from off-site warehousing, problems with the layout of the production floor and ``the cost of a very high labor-force turnover rate.''
Clarion said it lost $5.8 million in appliance-related sales in the third quarter from a major customer - which it did not identify - from its factories in Juarez and Ames, Iowa.
Through the first nine months of 2006, Clarion lost $7.87 million on sales of $97.1 million. For all of 2005, Clarion lost $5.66 million on sales of $145.5 million.
Clarion defaulted on financial covenants on its senior loan agreement in 2006. Officials said in the third-quarter report that Clarion's lenders have put in ``significant constraints on the operating capital of the company,'' causing the molder ``to curtail all expenditures other than what is absolutely necessary to continue to operate.''
In Clarion's 2005 annual report, its accountant, BDO Seidman LLP, said there was ``substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern.''