H&R Block's CEO Quits

Mark Ernst resigns as chairman, president and CEO.
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H&R Block

(HRB) - Get Report

said Mark Ernst has resigned as chairman, president and CEO, just two months after a group of dissidents were voted on to the tax preparer's board.

One of them, Richard Breeden, a former chairman of the

Securities and Exchange Commission

, has been chosen to fill the position of chairman.

Breeden, whose investment fund owns a sizable stake in H&R Block, will serve in a nonexecutive capacity. Ernst will remain with the company as a consultant through the end of the year in order to help with the transition to a new chief.

In September, Breeden and two allies, Robert Gerard and L. Edward Shaw, were elected by shareholders to be H&R Block directors.

Additionally, Alan Bennett, who retired earlier this year as chief financial officer of

Aetna

(AET)

, has been named interim CEO. H&R Block's board has formed a search committee to recruit a new permanent CEO.

Bennett has told the board he doesn't want the post beyond his temporary appointment.

Ernst's departure comes just two weeks after William Trubeck, H&R Block's CFO and executive vice president, stepped down from the position in the Kansas City, Mo. company.