With its stock price hovering just under $4 a share, Premier Exhibitions, Inc., the promoter behind Titanic The Artifact Exhibition and Bodies… The Exhibition, among others, recently accepted the resignations of its President and CEO Bruce Eskowitz and Vice President Brian Wainger. Replacements have not been named, but company Chairman Arnie Geller has taken over the CEO position.
Less than a year ago, the company’s stock was trading at a 52-week high of $16.71, but has since plummeted and was trading at $3.83 today at about 1:05pm. Its 52-week low, which it hit in early July, was $2.55.
Eskowitz, formerly a top executive at Live Nation, was named President and CEO of Premier Exhibitions one year ago, and he and the company had hoped that his experience in the entertainment industry would help the company grow. Wainger will remain with the company in a consultant capacity.
In addition to Eskowitz and Wainger, Board of Directors members James Yaffe and Jonathan Miller also resigned from their positions, and Chief Financial Officer Harold “Bud” Ingalls was named to the board.
The departures will cost the company a few million dollars in charges, severance and compensation, but Premier expects to save several million dollars annually going forward as it relates to these individuals, the company said.
“This is a significant action for the Company that will lower our ongoing cost structure while maintaining our commitment to increase shareholder value. We are continuing to review the Company’s business operations and organizational structure to identify additional opportunities to reduce costs and increase operating results,” Geller said in a statement. “The Board intends to nominate a slate of Directors for election at our 2008 annual meeting of shareholders, which will take place this fall.”