Tech services firm could benefit from CEO resignation

The resignation of the CEO of technology consultant Keane Inc. could actually give the company a boost, says a Wall St. analyst.

The abrupt resignation this week of Brian Keane, president and CEO of Keane Inc., may prove to be a positive for the Charlestown, Mass.-based IT services company, according to an analyst report issued today.

The 45-year-old Keane has denied an employee's allegations of personal misconduct against him.

Edward Caso Jr., a senior analyst at Wachovia Securities LLC in Richmond, Va., told shareholders in a memo yesterday that the shakeup should accelerate Keane's recent aggressive steps to expand its reach globally and improve profitability.

"We expect the organizational changes to transform KEA into a more global and horizontally structured company as Richard Garnick plays a greater role in driving the One Keane transformation," he wrote.

Garnick is president of North American Services and global business lines for the $956 million company. He was brought in last summer to drive "One Keane Transformation," the company's plan to become a global player with a significant workforce in India and a broad offering of IT services and expertise in specific industries.

Keane's CFO, John J. Leahy, is serving as interim president. The company also said that in order to "ensure clear leadership and continuity during this period of transition," it has formed an Office of the President, consisting of Leahy, Garnick and Russell J. Campanello, senior vice president, human resources.

Keane, son of founder John Keane Sr., was named CEO in 1999 and took on the title of president after his brother, John Jr., resigned in 2000. Keane will continue to serve as a consultant for the company through 2007, but he will not stand for re-election as a director at the company's annual meeting next week or resume his former position. The company said it was searching for a permanent successor to Keane. Calling the allegations "utterly base and false," he said he was resigning because the "mere existence" of the allegations "presents a distraction for the company my father founded 41 years ago." A spokesman for Brian Keane said no lawsuits or filings of any kind have been made against the former CEO.

Keane shares were down about 4% or 58 cents, to $13.78 near the close of trading Thursday.

Let us know what you think about the story; e-mail: Linda Tucci, Senior News Writer

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