Diebold Incorporated, North Canton, Ohio, announced Thomas W. Swidarski, president and chief executive officer, is stepping down from the company and its board of directors, effective immediately. In addition, George S. Mayes, Jr., executive vice president, global operations, was promoted by the board to the newly created position of chief operating officer, reporting directly to Henry D.G. Wallace, Diebold executive chairman of the board.  Wallace will assume regular oversight of the company until a new CEO is hired; Mayes will be responsible for daily operations. The search process for a new chief executive is currently underway.  

“We wish to thank Tom for the leadership and integrity he provided during his 17-year career at Diebold — the past seven years as our chief executive. This was a very difficult decision, and we wish Tom all the best in the next step in his career,” said Wallace. ”Progress has been made over the past several years in many areas.  However, the board’s judgment is that given the company’s ongoing performance and pace with which it is delivering tangible value, it is in our stakeholders’ best interests to make a change in leadership at this time.

“As we look to the future, the board feels Diebold’s strategies are sound given the company’s progress on several fronts, including integrated services and the growth potential of electronic security. Our anticipated revenue growth for the year is evidence that our markets remain sound,” Wallace continued.  “However, the company’s execution of its strategies has not been what we want or expect and we have underperformed against the opportunities in the marketplace.”

Wallace continued, “This reflects the need for deeper, faster operational transformation.  Our search for a new chief executive will focus on attracting a candidate with a proven track record for successfully executing growth strategies in a global software and services environment.”

In discussing Mayes’ promotion to the COO role, Wallace said, “George’s near-term focus will be to look at all aspects of the organization and identify areas that will help us accelerate the speed with which we reduce our cost structure and capitalize on changes in the marketplace.  His track record of delivering sound, fiscally responsible results in his career makes him ideally suited to lead our operations during this time of transition.  This is a challenging opportunity, yet I am confident in our ability to begin the process of putting this great company back on a more positive trajectory.  We will have much more to report on our progress and immediate plans for 2013 during our fourth quarter and year-end conference call with investors in February.” 

Mayes, 54, joined Diebold in 2005 as vice president, global manufacturing, and was appointed executive vice president of global operations in April 2008.  He began his career at General Motors, where he spent 15 years in manufacturing, quality and engineering.  During this period, he served as director of manufacturing, Mexico, Delphi operations; and director, operations, for Delphi Thermal division in Buffalo, N.Y. 

Prior to joining the company, Mayes served as chief operating officer and a member of the board of directors at Tinnerman Palnut Engineered Products, LLC. He has extensive experience in lean manufacturing and Six Sigma processes and has managed plants inCanada, Mexico, France, Hungary, Brazil, China, Poland, Italy and the United States.  Mayes is a native of Orange, N.J., and resides in North Canton, Ohio, with his wife.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point.