Chicago Bridge Sacks CEO

The company vacates previous earnings guidance.
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Chicago Bridge & Iron

(CBI)

fired its top two executives three months after the engineering company began an inquiry into possible accounting irregularities.

The Hoofddorp, Netherlands, company said late Friday that it fired CEO Gerald Glenn and operating chief Robert Jordan. Chicago Bridge named Philip K. Asherman chief executive and Jerry H. Ballengee nonexecutive chairman.

The company said it would hold a conference call next week. "At that time, the Company expects to issue revised guidance regarding its results of operations for the year ended Dec. 31, 2005," Chicago Bridge said. "All previous earnings guidance issued by the company for 2005 is no longer operative. When given, the guidance will be subject to closing the books of the company for 2005 and completion of the Audit Committee's previously announced ongoing investigation."

On Oct. 31, the company said its board received a memo from a senior member of its accounting department alleging accounting improprieties, including the determination of claim recognition on two projects and the assessment of costs to complete two projects. The board began an investigation and delayed filing of its third-quarter 10-Q.

Glenn and Jordan replied in a press release later Friday to the effect that they hadn't been confronted with any charges by the company's board.

"Gerald Glenn and Bob Jordan are being targeted by a results-oriented process where the reputations of honest men have been unfairly called into question," said their lawyer, Stephen A. Best. "These men have served this company faithfully for 17 years combined, and have repeatedly been denied an opportunity by the Company to be fairly heard on these issues. I can assure you that the Board would have been better informed had they provided my clients the opportunity to respond to the issues raised in the Audit Committee's report. These men are not going to hand over their good names for the sake of a misguided, biased and incomplete review."