Five ACS Board Members Resign After Feud with Chairman
ACS board members and Chairman Darwin Deason trade barbs in public letters obtained by the Wall Street Journal.Affiliated Computer Services, caught in a bitter battle between members of the company's board and its chairman, said in a statement Nov. 1 that five board members had resigned after initially refusing to do so. Darwin Deason, chairman and founder of outsourcing provider ACS, asked for the five board members' resignations verbally the evening of Nov. 30, board members said, and he asked again on Nov. 1 in a letter obtained by the Wall Street Journal. Deason claimed in the letter that company shareholders no longer trusted the five-member board of independent directors. In March of 2007, Deason and Cerberus Capital Management, a private equity firm, made a bid to purchase ACS, based in Dallas, for $8.2 billion. The board created a special committee to evaluate Cerberus' offer, but ultimately rejected the bid as too low. Unisys, another potential buyer, according to sources briefed on the matter, was derided by Deason as not being a serious bidder. Deason, who had signed an exclusivity contract with Cerberus stating that he could not remain as CEO if ACS was acquired by a rival bidder, claimed in his letter that the board had deliberately failed to produce any competing bidders even after rejecting the Cerberus offer.
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