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Coms CEO: Sorry about accidentally buying 20k shares, I'm off

Loss-making B2B comms outfit looks for new boss and non-exec directors

The chief of Coms Plc appeared to be close to the exit following his public spat with the rest of the board last week. Sure enough, the company today confirmed he’s stepped down.

David Breith, CEO at the London-listed buy and build B2B comms outfit, called a general meeting to replace his board last Wednesday. Later on during the same morning, he climbed down on the request.

This followed mounting losses at the business, a drying up of cash flow and an admission from Breith that he had bought 20,000 ordinary shares in Coms last July without telling anyone.

In a statement to the City this morning, Coms confirmed Breith had quit yesterday as chief exec and director of the company with “immediate effect”.

“It is the board’s intention to agree terms with Mr Breith regarding a consultancy arrangement whereby the company will continue to have the benefit of Mr Breith’s knowledge and expertise of Coms.”

Senior level people will be added to the board as soon as is “practicable” and candidates are being sounded out, including a new CEO and several new non-exec directors.

“There are a number of challenges facing Coms but I believe that the appointment of a senior experienced management team, supported by staff and Dave as a major shareholder, will help us with the next phase of Coms,” said chairman Frank Beechinor.

Breith owns 14.27 per cent of the issued share capital of Coms.

Coms added Breith’s share purchase last summer was “made in error and although an immediate attempt was made to cancel out the purchase this was not successful.”

It said he only became aware of the additional share purchases priced at 4.2 pence on 18 February, and had not sought prior permission to deal as it had not been his intention to do so, the firm added.

In a canned statement, Breith said the decision to leave was “very hard” but was also the “best” one for “staff and its shareholders”.

He added, “I’d like to apologise for the genuine error on my part in relation to this low value transaction.”

El Chan did wonder about asking Coms whether Breith had accidentally resigned, on top of accidentally buying 20,000 shares. ®

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