Brian Keane, president and CEO of IT services firm Keane Inc., resigned May 10 amid unspecified employee allegations relating to his personal conduct. The Boston-based outsourcing provider announced that the companys board of directors and Keane, whose father, John Keane, founded the company in 1965 and is chairman of the board, agreed on the decision.
In a statement released by the company, Keane denied "any unlawful behavior." He will continue as a consultant to the companys board of directors through Dec. 31, 2007, the statement said.
Larry Begley, a board member and an independent financial consultant, would not specify the nature of the employee allegations, but said the allegations did not involve financial malfeasance or civil rights violations. He would not say when the allegations first were made, but said the board met to consider them and conducted an internal investigation. "There were multiple board meetings. Its an experienced and savvy set of board members. The board took immediate action," said Begley in an interview.
"Its bizarre. Hes kind of been the pied piper at Keane," said Julie Giera, an analyst with Forrester Research. "The company has taken its personality and culture from Brian for a long time. Hes been the one to set direction and has been the face of Keane. Any significant change like this is more than disruptive for a company like Keane."
Keane will not stand for re-election as a director at the companys annual shareholders meeting next week, the company said. In addition, the companys board of directors formed an Office of the President, consisting of Richard Garnick, president, North American Services and Global Business Lines; Russell Campanello, senior vice president, Human Resources; and John Leahy, executive vice president, Finance and Administration, as well as chief financial officer.
Leahy was appointed by the board as interim president and CEO, while the company conducts a search among internal and external candidates for a permanent CEO.
"Keane Inc. has a history of high standards for employee conduct that go beyond what the law requires," said Maria Cirino, who serves as chair of the Boards Corporate Governance Committee, in a statement. "We are confident that our management will be able to keep its focus on the important work of the Company on behalf of its customers and shareholders.
"The situation we are addressing does not involve the Companys operational performance, finances, reported results of operations or internal controls. The Board is confident that our experienced senior executives and Keanes outstanding employees will provide strong and steady leadership during this transition period," Cirino concluded in the statement.