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Jackson Hewitt Hires Former Block Chief Executive

PARSIPPANY, N.J. (AP) ¿ Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. said Thursday it has named as its new chief executive the former CEO of industry leader H&R Block Tax Services Inc.

Harry W. Buckley, 64, was named Jackson Hewitt president and CEO effective immediately.

He is a former member of the Jackson Hewitt board and a former chairman of a major franchisee.

Buckley succeeds Michael C. Yerington, who is leaving the company. Buckley will also join the Jackson Hewitt board as a director.

Jackson Hewitt's shares rose 11 cents, or 2.6 percent, to close Thursday at $4.30.

The company said bringing Buckley is part of its efforts to improve performance.

Others actions include contracting with a management consulting company and with financial adviser Goldman, Sachs & Co. to improve financial performance.

"While we recognize the challenges of executing any kind of transaction in the current environment, the board has also engaged Goldman Sachs to examine a range of strategic alternatives for Jackson Hewitt," said Margaret Richardson, a former commissioner of Internal Revenue who joined the Jackson Hewitt board in June 2004. "The board will continue to explore all available means of enhancing value for our shareholders as we work closely with Harry and his management team to improve the company's operational and financial performance."

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