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Checkpoint Systems, Inc. (NYSE: CKP) announced today that the Company’s Board of Directors elected George Babich, Jr. to the position of President and Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Mr. Babich, age 60, served as interim President and Chief Executive Officer of Checkpoint since May 2012.
Mr. Babich has been a member of Checkpoint’s Board of Directors since 2006 and will continue to serve as a director. He is a respected business leader with more than 30 years of financial, business operations, and strategic planning experience in the retail, consumer products, manufacturing, and service sectors. From 2004 to 2005, he was President of Pep Boys — Manny, Moe & Jack, and Chief Financial Officer and President from 2002 to 2004. His experience also includes senior financial management positions at Pepsico Inc., Ford Motor Company, and The Franklin Mint. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Teleflex Incorporated (NYSE: TFX).
Bill Antle, Chairman of the Board of Checkpoint, said, “I am delighted that George has agreed to remain in a permanent capacity as President and Chief Executive Officer. When he stepped into the interim role last May, George faced a difficult set of circumstances with persistent economic uncertainty, volatile retail markets and internal problems weighing heavily on Checkpoint’s performance. Since that time, much has been accomplished. Checkpoint’s strategic direction has been redefined, its organization right-sized to match present economic conditions, and a rigorous series of programs put in place to cut costs and improve performance. Throughout the past nine months, George’s turnaround experience and astute leadership were invaluable.”
During Mr. Babich’s interim leadership, Checkpoint adjusted its business strategy, broadening its value proposition as a shrink management company to be a provider of inventory management solutions that give retailers insight into the availability of merchandise in their stores. In conjunction with this strategic shift, the Company identified a set of sweeping measures to right-size its global operations, cut costs, reduce working capital and increase revenue. Project LEAN, a new plan designed to quickly improve profitability, was launched in the second quarter of 2012. The plan is expected to generate annual savings of $35 million in 2013 in addition to $67 million in savings from the Company’s previously disclosed SG&A Restructuring Plan while positioning the company for sustained revenue growth.