Avid Gets New Chief - Broadcasting & Cable

Avid Gets New Chief

Gary Greenfield taking over for David Krall
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 Nonlinear editing and content storage supplier Avid Technology has finally found a new chief executive officer to replace David Krall, who left Avid in July just weeks before the company announced a restructuring and major layoffs in its video division.

 Taking the helm is Gary Greenfield, a turnaround specialist who led software company Peregrine Systems out of bankruptcy after it suffered an accounting scandal and also served as CEO of technology firms Merant and Intersolv. Greenfield, a Naval Academy graduate and Harvard MBA, has been CEO of Gaithersburg, Md.-based business-to-business solution provider GXS since 2003. At the same time, he has served as an operating partner of technology-focused buyout fund Francisco Partners, which owns a controlling stake in GXS. Greenfield, who has no direct experience in the media industry, will also serve as chairman of the Avid board, effectively immediately.

 Tewksbury, Mass.-based Avid, which announced last month that it would skip exhibiting at the NAB show in 2008 to focus its marketing dollars on other events, has signed Greenfield to a five-year deal in which he will receive a base salary of $900,000 per year, be eligible for a performance-related bonus equivalent to 100% to 135% of his salary, receive a one-time signing bonus of $600,000 and be reimbursed for relocation expenses. Avid has also given Greenfield 100,000 shares in restricted stock, worth over $2.5 million based on Wednesday’s closing price of $25.42, and options to purchase 725,000 shares of common stock at the same price.

 Nancy Hawthorne, a longtime Avid board member who has served as Avid’s interim CEO since August, will step aside and assume the role of lead director of the board.

 "As Avid continues to evolve and help our customers meet new challenges in the dynamic digital media marketplace, we sought a leader who had direct experience in helping complex and multi-dimensional public companies achieve their goals," said Hawthorne in a statement. "Gary is an outstanding choice to lead the company into a new era of growth."

 Avid stock was up $1.59, or 6.25%, in NASDAQ trading Wednesday afternoon.

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