'Sick', 'Greedy' Avigilon CFO Gets A New Job

By John Honovich, Published Jul 31, 2014, 12:00am EDT

Avigilon's explanations for their CFO crisis are falling apart but, in the meantime, it has worked well to boost their stock price.

Sick

On May 7th, investors were shocked by Avigilon's CFO leaving the night before their financials were released, with the stock plummeting. At that time, Avigilon repeatedly reported that the CFO left "in connection with a personal health issue."

The sick claim sounded like spin at the time, especially because of the timing (i.e., having to leave specifically the night before the financials came out) and the peculiar move for a sick person to leave the company rather than go on temporary leave / disability.

Greedy / Lazy

A few weeks after the exit, the story changed. No longer was there any mention of health issues.

Instead, the message Avigilon analysts / bankers offered was that the executives leaving with basically greedy and lazy, with one observing:

"The road to riches came so quickly for them that they were in a position to leave earlier than expected. ... When speaking to Alex [CEO] I get the feeling that he has more confidence in the work ethic, talent and drive of executives at the Dallas office than that of Vancouver"

This was followed by a TV interview with the CEO where these claims were repeated as well as another TV interview with an investor where this again was pronounced.

The CFO's New Job Contradicts This

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Just a month after leaving, former Avigilon CFO Brad Bardua has joined Endurance Windpower as CFO [link no longer available].

A person who starts a new job so quickly is clearly not sick and evidently not rich enough to even take off the summer.

Why This Approach?

On the plus side, Avigilon has distracted / deflected deeper concerns about their business. People do not like to question someone's health as it is in poor taste. And with an attack on their ex-employee's character, it muddies the issue of whether or not one is dealing with a selfish person.

Long Term Risks of This Spin

Investors and analysts, if prudent, should now be more skeptical / critical of Avigilon's explanations.

Current and future employees may be concerned that they too will be publicly criticized, as Avigilon seeks to protect their share price.

Stock Up / Strong Numbers Expected

However, for now, things are heading up for Avigilon. Since the CEO's aggressive investor out-reach campaign and floating of the greedy theory, the stock price has rebounded and is now basically at the same point it was prior to the CFO exit.

Plus, the expectation, including with us, is that Avigilon is going to beat expectations strongly and deliver massive results on August 7, 2014 when they announce their Q2 2014 earnings. And, at that point, even if the Avigilon CFO issue points to deeper internal problems, it will be forgotten, for now.

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