- Payments company ACI Worldwide has fired its CEO, Odilon Almeida, the company disclosed in a regulatory filing Tuesday. His employment was “terminated as President & CEO of the Company,” according to an ACI filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
- Thomas Warsop, previously the chairman of the company’s board of directors, has been named interim CEO effectively immediately, ACI said in a press release. A company spokesperson declined further comment.
- Almeida, who was terminated without cause, is entitled to severance pay under an existing agreement, as long as he enters into a “customary release of claims” against the company, ACI said in the SEC filing. In addition, ACI “expects to enter into a transition services agreement with Mr. Almeida covering the remainder of November 2022,” the filing said.
ACI Director Mary Harman, who heads up the board’s nominating and corporate governance committee, described the CEO ouster in the press release as a needed leadership change.
Miami-based ACI provides payments software services to banks, merchants and billers worldwide, and it has worked with the Federal Reserve on the central bank’s FedNow instant payments pilot.
“As ACI advances its vision to lead the real-time payments revolution, the Board determined that now is the right time to transition to a new leader focused on accelerating our technology transformation and delivering operational excellence across our business,” Harman said in the release.
Warsop, 56, joined ACI’s board in 2015 and became non-executive chairman just five months ago in June, according to his profile on ACI’s website. While in the interim role, he will be paid $325,000 per month and is eligible for a $325,000 discretionary bonus based on performance criteria, the company said in the filing.
Almeida had served as the company’s president and CEO since March 2020, his biography on ACI’s website notes. Before joining ACI, he served as an operating partner at private equity firm Advent International from 2019 to 2020. Prior to that, he held several positions at Western Union over 17 years, including president of that firm’s global money transfer unit.
Joe Vafi, managing director of equity research at Canaccord Genuity, called Almeida’s firing “a little bit of a head scratcher.”
Almeida had “done a good job here of accelerating growth and refocusing the company, becoming more competitive and fine-tuning the product portfolio,” Vafi said. “It did come as a surprise,” especially right after the company reported third-quarter earnings Nov. 2, he added. Almeida presided over an earnings call with analysts that day.
ACI’s board plans to tap an executive search firm in seeking a permanent CEO replacement, the release said.