At FM press time in late September, Aramark Corp. announced that CEO William Leonard had resigned. Former CEO and current executive chairman Joseph Neubauer was named CEO, effective immediately.
The resignation came a month after the company reported fiscal third-quarter earnings below expectations, citing higher costs for labor and new customer contracts, which squeezed profit margins. Aramark said such costs would persist into the fourth quarter, which ended September 30.
Aramark spokeswoman Michelle Davidson says the board accepted Leonard's resignation in a ìmutual decision” stemming from both business and personal reasons. The decision was related to ìbusiness performance and the board's assessment of the next wave of leaders” at Aramark, she said.
Neubauer was Aramark's chairman/CEO from 1984, when he led a group of employees who purchased the company to prevent a hostile takeover, until last October, when Leonard— then president/COO of the company—was named CEO. Neubauer, 62, is one of Aramark's biggest shareholders, with 31 percent of its Class A shares. He has agreed to serve as chairman/CEO for at least three years.