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US: Vinod Gupta resigns as CEO of InfoGroup

US: Vinod Gupta resigns as CEO of InfoGroup

Company founder Vinod Gupta has resigned as chief executive officer of database provider InfoGroup Inc., the company said Thursday.
The Omaha-based company said in a news release that Gupta had stepped down but would remain on the board of directors.
Board Chairman Bill Fairfield will replace Gupta as CEO, the company said, and a member of the board, Bernard Reznicek, has taken over as chairman, replacing Fairfield.
Fairfield had been InfoGroup's lead independent director and is chairman of DreamField Partners Inc., a private equity firm.
The company said it had entered a "settlement agreement" with Gupta and others named in a shareholders lawsuit.
It was unclear early Thursday whether the lawsuit had indeed been settled. A call by The Associated Press to InfoGroup was not immediately returned.
The SEC has been investigating spending by InfoGroup, which used to be known as InfoUSA, and certain trades of company stock.
The shareholder lawsuit alleges the company misspent millions _ some of it on former President Bill Clinton and his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.
Investment manager Cardinal Value Equity Partners and hedge fund Dolphin Limited Partnership filed the lawsuit last year.
According to the lawsuit, InfoUSA had spent nearly $900,000 since 2001 flying the Clintons to domestic and international locations and political events.
Gupta has been a major donor to Democrats and gave at least $1 million to Bill Clinton's presidential library in Arkansas. Gupta also took part in a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton in Manhattan in June 2007.
In July, the company said it would sell a yacht as its first step in reining in expenses. It also said Gupta, who owned 40 percent of InfoGroup stock, had agreed not to buy more company stock through July 21, 2009, and that he would pay the company $9 million over the next five years.
InfoGroup said the payment from Gupta was subject to court approval as part of a future settlement agreement with the shareholders.
In the past, InfoGroup had made sizable payments to a company Gupta owned called Annapurna Corp. for use of a jet plane, the 80-foot yacht American Princess, condos in Hawaii and California and a University of Nebraska stadium box.
InfoGroup eventually took over the lease of what it calls a boat and invested in fractional ownership in a jet from NetJets. Previously, Gupta had said the jet, condos, stadium box and American Princess were for entertaining clients.
The company's new policy will prohibit owning or leasing yachts.
Any related-party transactions between InfoGroup and any business affiliated with an executive or large shareholder will require pre-approval from the board if they are valued at more than $120,000.
Earlier this month, InfoGroup filed long-overdue financial reports with the SEC.
Its first-quarter net income increased 4 percent to $6.6 million, or 12 cents per share, from $6.3 million in the first quarter of 2007.
The company said revenue rose 21 percent, to $191 million in the period that ended March 31.
InfoGroup has said the first-quarter numbers _ and the 2007 annual report _ were delayed by the SEC investigation and the shareholder lawsuit.
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On the Net:
http://www.infousa.com


Updated : 2021-01-22 05:59 GMT+08:00