Harley Marine ousts founder and CEO

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(SEATTLE) — Harley Marine Services said Monday that it has relieved founder Harley Franco of his duties as chief executive officer, the latest step in a struggle for control that erupted last summer, The Seattle Times reported.

In a news release titled “Harley Franco Terminated from Harley Marine Services,” the privately held company said its board of directors was announcing that Franco is no longer CEO. The statement added that Matt Godden “will remain as president of the company,” and it identified Jon Foster as “the successor chairman of the board of directors.”

The tug and barge company — with 120 vessels from Alaska to the Gulf Coast and about 800 employees — has been roiled by a legal battle between Franco on one side and Godden and Australian investment firm Macquarie, a large minority shareholder, on the other.

In lawsuits filed last summer, Franco accused Macquarie and Godden of plotting to oust him because he opposed plans to sell the company, and they accused him of misappropriating company assets and charging personal expenses to the firm.

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By Professional Mariner Staff