Auto parts maker Visteon Corp. (NYSE: VC) said today that CEO Don Stebbins “stepped down” as chairman, chief executive and president of the company last Friday. The board has named director Timothy Leuliette as interim chairman, CEO and president while it searches for a permanent replacement.
Visteon, which was spun off from Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) in 2000, emerged from bankruptcy protection in October 2010 under Stebbins’ leadership. Since that time, share prices have topped $75 and bottomed at around $27, following its quarterly earnings report earlier this month. The company managed to beat earnings per share estimates for its second quarter, but it was forced to lower guidance for sales and profits for the full fiscal year. Weak sales in Europe and currency exchanges got the blame for the revised forecast.
The company has also sold its automotive lighting business recently, after being foiled in an attempt to acquire a Korean joint venture that makes climate control systems. Stebbins was considering a retry for the Korean firm, called Halla Climate Control Corp., and had also indicated that making acquisitions was the company’s path to growth. The board must not have agreed with that strategy because Stebbins “stepped down” just a week after he made the statement.
Visteon’s shares are down about 1.6% in premarket trading this morning, at $38.80 in a 52-week range of $27.04 to $58.59.