Asbury Automotive Group, Inc. (ABG) COO Kearney Plans Retirement Apr 23, 2014 07:14AM

Asbury Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE: ABG) announced that Michael Kearney, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, age 62, will retire from those positions on March 31, 2015. Until that time, he will continue to serve as COO. Mr. Kearney announced his retirement to allow Asbury ample time to ensure an orderly transition process.

Asbury's President and Chief Executive Officer, Craig T. Monaghan, stated, "We want to thank Michael for his 24 years of service and countless contributions to Asbury. Michael's commitment to operational excellence leaves us with a strong operations team and a platform for continued success. We appreciate Michael's dedication to ensuring a seamless transition and we wish him the best in his future endeavors."

Mr. Kearney commented, "While I am looking forward to enjoying more time following personal pursuits, I am also excited for Asbury as it is well positioned for the future. I also want to thank all of Asbury's associates for their dedication and support over the years."

Mr. Kearney has served as Executive Vice President and COO of the Company since February 2011 and as a member of the Board since October 2012. From March 2009 until February 2011, Mr. Kearney served as Senior Vice President and COO of the Company. Before becoming Senior Vice President and COO, Mr. Kearney served as the President and CEO of our former Eastern Region, which included Nalley Automotive Group in Georgia, Crown Automotive Company in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and New Jersey, and Coggin Automotive Group and Courtesy Auto Group in Florida. Mr. Kearney joined Crown Automotive Company in 1990 as its CFO, and assumed the role of its President and CEO in September 2000. The Company acquired Crown Automotive Company in 1998.

Echo Therapeutics (ECTE) is 'Disappointed' in Platinum's Proxy Contest Apr 22, 2014 05:42PM

Echo Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: ECTE) commented on the recent proxy statement filings made with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by Platinum Management (NY) LLC confirming that it intends to conduct a proxy contest in connection with Echo's 2014 Annual Meeting of Stockholders and will solicit proxies for the election to the Echo Board of Directors of a candidate in opposition to one of the candidates recommended for election by the Echo Board. Platinum is currently represented on the five-member Echo Board of Directors by its designee Michael M. Goldberg.

Echo issued the following statement: "The Echo Board of Directors and management team strongly believe that Echo must be run like any other public company — for the benefit of ALL stockholders and, as such, our directors must represent the interests of ALL stockholders and not the agenda of any particular constituency — and are committed to doing just that. We have had extensive discussions with Platinum in the past regarding board representation that culminated in our appointment of Platinum's designee Michael M. Goldberg to our Board. Given the good faith and open-minded manner in which our Board has constructively engaged with Platinum and sought to avoid a proxy contest, including agreeing to place Platinum's designee Michael M. Goldberg on our Board, we are disappointed that, rather than embracing that path of constructive engagement, Platinum is instead now pursuing a costly and disruptive proxy contest to facilitate the advancement of its own agenda. As we will detail for stockholders in revised proxy materials we will distribute to stockholders, to facilitate that agenda, Platinum is now seeking to use its proxy contest to have elected to the Echo Board yet another representative, Shepherd M. Goldberg, who is a first-cousin and long-time close business associate of Michael M. Goldberg."

In light of Platinum's decision to move forward with its proxy contest and solicit proxies in connection with Echo's 2014 Annual Meeting, Echo will be filing revised proxy materials with the SEC commenting on Platinum's opposing solicitation, including a preliminary proxy statement and a revised form of WHITE proxy card. The definitive form of that revised proxy statement will be mailed to Echo stockholders along with the revised form of WHITE proxy card. To allow sufficient time for stockholders to receive and review these revised proxy materials, the date of the 2014 Annual Meeting will be rescheduled and a new record date for determining stockholders entitled to notice of, and to vote at, the 2014 Annual Meeting will be set. Echo will announce both such dates prior to its mailing to stockholders of the revised proxy materials.

Stockholders are advised to discard the proxy materials that they may have already received from Echo and are further advised that, to the extent that they have already given a proxy to Echo, whether in writing or via telephone or internet, all such proxies will be discarded. In order for stockholders to vote on the WHITE proxy card in support of the candidates nominated by the Echo Board, stockholders will be required to complete the revised form of WHITE proxy card that will be mailed to them or vote electronically as provided on the revised form of WHITE proxy card.

Echo is being advised in connection with the proxy contest by Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP and Alston & Bird LLP. Laurel Hill Advisory Group, LLC is serving as Echo's proxy solicitor.

TransGlobe Energy Corp. (TGA) Adds New Director Apr 22, 2014 02:02PM

TransGlobe Energy Corporation (Nasdaq: TGA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Susan MacKenzie to its Board of Directors.

Ms. MacKenzie has been an independent consultant since September 2010. Prior thereto, Susan served as Chief Operating Officer with Oilsands Quest Inc., from April 2010 to September 2010. Prior to that, was employed for 12 years at Petro-Canada (an integrated oil and gas company) where she held senior and executive roles including Vice-President of In Situ Development & Operations and Vice-President of Human Resources until Petro Canada was merged with Suncor Energy Inc. in 2009. Susan was also with Amoco Canada for 14 years in a variety of engineering and leadership roles in natural gas, conventional oil and heavy oil exploitation.

Ms. MacKenzie holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) degree from McGill University, an MBA from the University of Calgary and is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA). Ms. MacKenzie also holds the ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Ms. MacKenzie serves and has previously served on several public, private and charitable boards.

"We are very pleased to have Susan join our Board and look forward to her contributions as an independent director of TransGlobe" stated Rob Jennings, Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Darden Restaurants (DRI): Starboard Wins Consent to Call Special Meeting - CNBC Apr 22, 2014 11:30AM

Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: DRI): Starboard Wins Consent to Call Special Meeting - CNBC

General Motors (GM) Restructures Global Vehicle Engineering Organizations; Assigns Leadership Apr 22, 2014 11:05AM

General Motors today announced the restructuring of its Global Vehicle Engineering organization to improve cross-system integration, deliver more consistent performance across vehicle programs and address functional safety and compliance in its vehicles.

“A vehicle is a collection of 30,000 individual parts. Fully integrating those parts into cohesive systems with industry-leading quality and safety is key in this customer-driven business,” said Mark Reuss, executive vice president of Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain.

Global Vehicle Engineering is being restructured to form two new organizations: Global Product Integrity and Global Vehicle Components and Subsystems.

The Global Product Integrity organization, which is effective immediately, will build on specific actions GM has taken in recent years to lead the industry in vehicle dynamics including ride and handling, steering and braking. GM is applying the same approach to overall quality and safety performance and ensure the highest levels of execution across all its vehicles.

  • Ken Morris, currently executive director, Global Chassis Engineering, has been named vice president, Global Product Integrity. The newly created role and organization will include vehicle, powertrain and electrical systems engineering as well as vehicle performance, industrial engineering and validation. It also includes the recently formed Global Vehicle Safety organization led by Jeff Boyer, who is overseeing the addition of 35 product investigators. Supplier Quality will now become part of the new Global Product Integrity organization.
  • Ken Kelzer, currently vice president, GM Europe Powertrain Engineering, has been named vice president, Global Vehicle Components and Subsystems. His new role and organization includes engineering operations, components development, advanced vehicle development and other engineering business initiatives.

The Global Product Integrity organization will use advanced analysis tools and processes to flag and prevent issues during vehicle development, while also mining field data to react quickly to safety and product quality issues customers may experience.

Morris joined GM in 1989 as a brake systems engineer from Borg Warner Automotive Transmission Systems where he was a test engineer. He has held several key engineering roles at GM, most recently executive director for Global Chassis Engineering, where he was responsible for design and execution for the fuel systems, suspensions, steering, brakes, tires and wheels as well as powertrain interface systems for all GM vehicles. Morris previously was executive director for Global Vehicle Performance, Proving Grounds and Test Labs.

Morris holds a bachelor’s degree of science from Purdue University in Mechanical Engineering.

Kelzer joined GM as an intern in 1982. Most recently, he was vice president of General Motors Europe Powertrain Engineering, where he was responsible for GM’s powertrain operations in Europe. Some of Kelzer’s prior roles include executive chief engineer of full and midsize vehicles, global vehicle chief engineer for rear-wheel drive and performance vehicles, and global functional leader of chassis and accessories.

Kelzer holds a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota and a master’s in Business from the University of Michigan.

With the restructuring, John Calabrese, vice president of Global Vehicle Engineering, has elected to retire after more than 33 years with GM. Calabrese began his GM career in 1981 as an experimental engineer, and has served in a variety of leadership roles in Engineering and Purchasing. He will remain with the company through August to assist with the transition.

“Under John’s leadership, GM has developed industry-leading vehicles in practically every segment in which we compete,” Reuss said. “He raised the bar in Engineering and has us well-positioned for the future. We thank John for his many contributions – and I thank him for his friendship – and wish him the best."

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