February 18, 2011: Yesterday, Compass Diversified Holdings (ticker:CODI) announced in a brief press release that its CEO, Joe Massoud, would be taking an immediate leave of absence from the firm to “focus his attention on an informal regulatory inquiry… on matters unrelated to the [Company]“. A new temporary CEO has been named to run the mini-conglomerate, whose financial performance in recent quarters has been stellar. Why Mr Massoud needs to focus elsewhere (he also gave up his Board seat) is not mentioned, and the BDC Reporter does not have any further light to shed on the why and hows. We may learn more at the Company’s next earnings Conference Call on March 10th, 2011.
The news has hit the stock hard, with the price down over 8% 45 minutes into the trading day, down to $16.5, or over $2 under its 52 week high. The Company pays a $1.36 annual dividend, which shouldn’t be affected by the CEO’s leave of absence. This is a story with legs as they say in the news business.