May 14, 2012 / 11:37 AM / 7 years ago

Francesca's fires CFO over social media activity

(Reuters) - Women’s specialty retailer Francesca’s Holdings Corp (FRAN.O) said it fired its chief financial officer Gene Morphis after an internal probe found that he had improperly communicated company information through social media.

Francesca’s board launched an investigation with the assistance of outside counsel after it discovered the activity on May 11, 2012, the company said, without providing additional details.

“We acted immediately on Friday afternoon when we first became aware of the matter and have moved swiftly to replace Morphis based on the findings of the investigation,” the company said in a statement.

Morphis had served as the company’s finance chief since October 2010.

Francesca’s named Cynthia Thomassee, who has been with the company since 2007, as interim Chief Financial Officer.

The company, which went public in July 2011, also said the search for a new chief financial officer was under way.

The company could not be reached immediately for comment.

Francesca’s, which competes with chains such as Chico’s (CHS.N) White House Black Market chain, Ann Inc’s ANN.N LOFT, and Urban Outfitter’s (URBN.O) Anthropologie, also raised its first-quarter outlook to a profit of 17 to 18 cents, from 14 to 15 cents it had expected in March.

Reporting by Ranjita Ganesan; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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