WorldCom Inc. has begun the search for a new chief executive to replace John Sidgmore, who took the helm of the shaky company in April after founder Bernie Ebbers was ousted.
Since disclosing the companys colossal accounting mis-statements in June, Sidgmore sought to disassociate himself and current management from Ebbers and from former chief financial officer Scott Sullivan, who pleaded not guilty to charges of security fraud last week.
While testifying before Congress over the summer, Sidgmore told lawmakers that in his previous position as vice chairman of the board, he played mostly a marketing role and was not routinely privy to the details of the companys books. He will return to his position as vice chairman once a new chief executive is named, the company said.
In a press release, Sidgmore said that now is the appropriate time for him to leave. "By returning to my vice chairman role, after the search is complete, I along with Bert Roberts will be able to remain active in a strategic capacity while our new CEO manages the day-to-day operations of the company and the overall bankruptcy process."
As president and CEO for five months, Sidgmore attempted to project a confident and optimistic image of a company voluntarily restructuring to put itself back on course. Despite his numerous statements that the company would try to avoid bankruptcy, WorldCom filed for Chapter 11 protection July 21.
The company maintains that it will emerge from bankruptcy in mid-2003.
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