Mike Turner is stepping aside as Allied Minds co-CEO, leaving the executive role to Joe Pignato.
Mike Turner (pictured) has resigned as co-chief executive of commercialisation firm Allied Minds after only six months in the role, the Morning Star reported yeseterday. The decision leaves Joe Pignato as sole chief executive. Turner will also stand down from the board of directors, although he will remain in some form of management capacity. Fritz Foley, non-executive director at Allied Minds, has also left to be replaced by Mark Lerdal, executive chairman of investment firm Leaf Clean Energy, while non-executive chair Jeffrey Rohr will retire in June 2020. The shakeup fulfils the bulk of board changes demanded by Allied Minds’ activist shareholder Crystal Amber, which has led criticism of the firm’s cost structure and inability to pay dividends. Crystal Amber previously helped dismiss former Allied Minds CEO Jill Smith in June 2019. Pignato has seemingly survived, although forced to reduce his annual bonus to 100% of base salary. The move is regarded as significant as Pignato’s contract was the last held under Allied Minds’ controversial bonus scheme, which paid out on successful equity investments without penalties in the case of failure. Meanwhile, Allied Minds’ cost-cutting drive suffered a setback after the company conceded recurring headquarters expenses would be reduced by “no more” than $6m rather than $7.5m as originally anticipated. However the company now expects a shareholder dividend of $40m from its exit at Virginia Tech-founded radio frequency data analytics firm HawkEye 360, up from an estimate of $32.8m in the wake of unspecified cost savings. Both budgetary adjustments are expected to occur by the first quarter of 2020. Pignato said: “The measures announced today will allow the business to maintain the necessary investment in key areas, in order to further support our portfolio companies on their path towards meaningful commercialisation, ensuring that the company remains on track to deliver attractive returns to all our shareholders in the coming years.”