Shareholders oust Morgan as CEO of Strauss Coffee

TEL AVIV Sun Jan 5, 2014 3:01am EST

TEL AVIV Jan 5 (Reuters) - A general shareholders' meeting has approved the termination of Todd Morgan's employment as chief executive of Strauss Coffee, parent company Strauss Group said on Sunday.

This follows a Dutch court decision allowing Strauss Coffee to go ahead with the replacement of Morgan, who will complete his duties immediately, Strauss Group, Israel's second-largest food and beverage company, said in a statement.

Tomer Harpaz, executive vice president for business development, strategy and technologies in Strauss Group, will serve as interim manager of Strauss Coffee. Harpaz served as a director in the coffee company for the past 3.5 years.

In parallel, Strauss Coffee's board will begin a process to search for the next CEO.

Last month a specialised Dutch court dismissed a suit brought by private equity firm TPG against Strauss Coffee, a Dutch-registered company.

TPG had asked the Dutch court to order an inquiry into the affairs of Strauss Coffee, in which it holds a 25 percent stake, claiming Strauss Group had abused its rights in the company. The request came after TPG had been looking to sell the stake, for which it paid $293 million in 2008.

In its filing with the Dutch Enterprise Chamber, which hears corporate governance disputes, TPG had sought an injunction against Morgan's dismissal. Morgan was TPG's board representative to Strauss Coffee before he became CEO three and a half years ago.

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