CHARLOTTE, N.C., Aug. 20, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Swisher Hygiene Inc. ("Swisher Hygiene") (Nasdaq:SWSH) (TSX:SWI), a leading provider of essential hygiene and sanitation products and services, announced today that Steven Berrard is stepping down as President and Chief Executive Officer of the company, effective immediately. Mr. Berrard will continue his service as a member of the Board of Directors. Also effective immediately, the Board of Directors appointed Thomas Byrne, Swisher Hygiene's current Executive Vice President, as Interim President and Chief Executive Officer. "In order to facilitate completion of the 2011 audit process, and in order to better focus my energies on the strategic direction of Swisher Hygiene, I believe it is in the best interest of the company and its shareholders for me to step down as President and Chief Executive Officer," said Mr. Berrard. "I will miss leading the Swisher Hygiene team on a day-to-day basis, but I will continue to be involved in the ongoing strategic direction of the company as a member of the Board of Directors and as one of the company's largest shareholders." Mr. Byrne commented, "The growth of Swisher Hygiene over the past few years would have been impossible without the hard work and dedication of Steve Berrard, and I know I speak for the entire Swisher Hygiene team in thanking him for leading the transformation of this company. I look forward to continuing to work with Steve and gaining the benefit of his insight as a member of the Board of Directors." Mr. Byrne continued, "We are hoping to complete our ongoing accounting review expeditiously and file our 2011 financial statements as soon as possible, which will allow us to move Swisher Hygiene forward and continue our efforts to create value for our shareholders." Mr. Byrne, age 50, has served as Executive Vice President of Swisher Hygiene since November 2010. Prior to that time, Mr. Byrne served as Senior Vice President of Swisher International, Inc. and as a director of Swisher International, Inc. from 2004 until November 2010. He has served as a director of numerous public and private companies and has extensive experience in public equity investment and accounting. Mr. Byrne is a director of ITC Learning, Pivotal Fitness and the Private Equity Committee of the University of Florida Foundation, and also served as a director of Jamba, Inc. from 2006 to 2010. Previously, Mr. Byrne was Administrative Partner of New River Capital Partners, a private equity fund, which he co-founded in 1997, Vice Chairman of Blockbuster Entertainment Group (a division of Viacom, Inc.) and was also President of the Viacom Retail Group. Additionally, from 1984 to 1988, Mr. Byrne was employed by KPMG Peat Marwick. Mr. Byrne has a B.S. and M.A. in Accounting from the University of Florida and is a certified public accountant.