Black Diamond Inc. President Zeena Freeman resigns over potential sale of company

The former Gap and Sony exec was on the job for less than a year, deciding to leave after Black Diamond put its brands up for sale.
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Black Diamond Inc. President Zeena Freeman has resigned from the company, officials announced late Thursday.

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Freeman, a former Sony and Gap executive, who was named Black Diamond Inc. president less than a year ago (August 2014), had been slated to succeed current CEO Peter Metcalf this summer. Officials said Freeman terminated her contract on June 3 because of the company’s March 2015 announcement to explore “strategic alternatives, including the sale of the Company’s Black Diamond Equipment (including PIEPS) and POC brands in two separate transactions.”

The resignation suggests a potential sale is nearing (a decision is expected in the third quarter) and that Freeman’s position as parent president of all three brands, would soon be eliminated. Indeed Black Diamond officials said the company would “make payments and provide the benefits to Ms. Freeman set forth in the employment agreement as though there were a termination due to a change in control.”

That being said, throughout the past year, Freeman had been noticeably absent from the company’s public face — a role that Metcalf consistently filled during her tenure. Observers previously noted that the decision to put the brands up for sale never quite gave Freeman the chance to turn around the company.

Metcalf will return to his role as president of Black Diamond Inc., as well as continue his role as CEO. He will voluntarily resign from the company’s board of directors to comply with Nasdaq regulations that stipulate that the board “consist of a majority of independent directors.”

Stay tuned to SNEWS for more on this breaking news.

--David Clucas

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