When Paul Svindland took over as CEO of Celadon Group (OTCPink: CGIP) in the summer of 2017, he was stepping into an operation that had been riddled with financial concerns following the company’s auditors, BKD LLP, stating that Celadon’s financials “should no longer be relied upon.”
Since that time, Svindland and the management team surrounding him have worked to correct those past issues and return the company to profitability. There is still work to be done, but some of that management team is now being rewarded with executive positions that more accurately reflect their roles in the revitalized business.
Thom Albrecht, who joined Svindland in October 2017 as executive vice president-chief financial and strategy officer, has been named executive vice president and chief commercial and strategy officer. Prior to joining Celadon, Albrecht was a respected and successful consultant with his own firm, Sword & Sea Transport, that focused on market research, growth strategies and capacity overviews for freight transportation carriers and shippers.
With Celadon, Albrecht’s role has included substantial work with pricing and customer strategy, and this new title reflects that ongoing focus.
Vincent Donargo, previously vice president and chief accounting officer, will become executive vice president, chief accounting officer and chief financial officer. He will have responsibility for the financial restatement, audit and public reporting of the company.
Kathryn Wouters, who joined Celadon in December 2011, has been appointed senior vice president of finance and treasurer. She has served as a financial analyst, finance manager and director of finance before her most recent position, vice president of finance and treasurer.
“Thom, Vince and Kathryn have been key contributors as we have streamlined our business and paid down our credit facility over the past several quarters,” Svindland said in a statement. “Their title changes reflect our priorities as a newly focused asset-based truckload carrier: enhancing commercial relationships across our customer base, completing our financial statement audits and returning to public reporting and obtaining and managing a long-term capital structure, including a refresh of our entire U.S. tractor fleet. We look forward to their continuing contributions as we move forward.”
Last month, Celadon agreed to pay $42.2 million in restitution to shareholders following alleged accounting fraud. The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana announced on April 25 that the Indianapolis-based truckload and cross-border carrier entered into a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on April 24, as part of a criminal case charging the company with securities fraud. DOJ said Celadon knowingly filed false and misleading statements to investors and had also falsified books and accounting records to inflate the value of assets involved in four equipment transactions through its leasing subsidiary, Quality Companies.
Quality has since been divested.
In addition to settling the securities case, Celadon has also been busy divesting itself of non-core business units. In March, it sold its regional haul and dedicated businesses, A&S Kinard and Buckler Transport to Day & Ross Freight. In April, it announced the sale of its intermodal business to Bison Transport, and the sale of its freight brokerage and managed transportation business, Celadon Logistics, to PS Logistics.