K2 Inc. (NYSE:KTO) today announced the resignation of Richard M. Rodstein, age 47, its president and chief executive officer. Richard J. Heckmann, age 58, chairman of the board of directors since April 2000, assumed the post of chief executive officer. Heckmann was the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of US Filter (formerly NYSE:USF) until it was acquired by Vivendi (NYSE:V) in 1999. The company also announced that J. Wayne Merck, age 42, executive vice president, assumed the post of chief operating officer -- a move that essentially formalizes the duties he has been performing for the company already. Heckmann also indicated that the company will leave the post of president open for now. SNEWS® View: Though no one at the company was commenting on the record, it is probably safe to say that this was not a "voluntary" resignation. Rodstein was named as K2's CEO in 1996, and enjoyed a stock trading at or near $30, as we recall. Suffice it to say that K2's shares have been trading at an abysmally low level for the last year and that Rodstein's performance was probably no longer satisfactory to the board. K2's shares closed Friday at $6.71, up 31 cents, or 4.8 percent, on composite volume of 69,200 shares. Morale is another issue, and we know from folks who are close to staff at the company offices in Vashon that it is extremely low. We might suggest to Heckmann that he insert someone from the Los Angeles-based executive team into Vashon to lead the charge, provide strategic vision and simply oversee operations. As it stands now, the Vashon team is one with a lot of talented First Mates, but no captain steering the ship, and that's not good.