UPDATED: Charles Morgan Retires From Acxiom; Durham to Lead Board of Directors

by Lance Turner  on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2007 5:00 pm  

Charles Morgan has retired as company leader of Acxiom Corp. and entered into a transition agreement that includes a three-year contract with the first as a consultant.

Charles Morgan has retired as company leader of Acxiom Corp. "effective immediately," and the company has named Michael J. Durham, former CEO of Sabre Inc., to be Acxiom's non-executive chairman of the board of directors.

Morgan also said he is leaving the company's board of directors, where he is chairman. Acxiom said Morgan has entered into a transition agreement with the company and will be interim company leader until his successor is selected.

Also, Acxiom said Morgan has agreed to serve as a consultant to the company for up to three years, "focusing on technology and innovation."

Durham has been on Acxiom's board since March 2006. He was a non-executive chairman of the board for the Asbury Automotive Group Inc., an auto retailer to which fellow Acxiom director Thomas F. "Mack" McLarty III is also connected.

Morgan announced in October that he would leave the company after it found a new CEO. Morgan's announcement came at the same time the company announced that its plan to sell out to a pair of private equity firms and go private had collapsed.

Morgan said in a conference call with analysts last month that several qualified candidates had emerged in the search for a new chief executive.

"Acxiom has been and remains an industry leader in delivering innovative customer information solutions that help our clients be more successful," Morgan said in a news release. "I have enjoyed the opportunity to lead our company and I am committed to helping the board and company extend Acxioms leadership position in the future."

In a filing Tuesday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Acxiom said that Morgan will receive 815,000 with no bonus until it hires a new chief executive. Once Acxiom hires a replacement, Morgan will become a consultant for three years and will receive $500,000 each year. He will also receive a one-time payment of $3 million.

Acxiom shares (Nasdaq: ACXM) ended the day up more than 8 percent to close at $13.15.

Board Change

The company also said that Rodger Kline, Acxiom's chief administrative leader, will leave the board of directors but remain in his executive position. The board has nominated Kevin M. Twomey to fill the seat, which Kline has held since 1975.

Twomey was president of The St. Joe Company from 1999 until his retirement in 2006. Twomey is a member of the board of directors of PartnerRe Ltd. Shareholders will vote on Twomey at its annual meeting Dec. 21.

Also Tuesday, Precision Marketing reported that Mardev managing director Nick Martin is quitting after 14 years to become UK Information products country leader at Acxiom. Mardev is an international data services firm.

ArkansasBusiness.com will update this story.



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