Benjamin Moore CEO ousted
Denis Abrams, CEO of paint maker Benjamin Moore, was fired from his job over a dinner cruise to Bermuda that was charged to the company’s tab, according to an article in the New York Post. A group of officials from parent company Berkshire Hathaway, owned by billionaire Warren Buffet, showed up at the paint company’s Montvale, N.J., office two weeks ago and escorted Abrams from the building, the Post reported.
A Benjamin Moore spokeswoman confirmed Abrams had been terminated and replaced by Bob Merritt, a restaurant industry veteran.
Ironically, Abrams and his executive team, along with a few other guests, were supposedly celebrating their first quarterly sales increase since 2007, the year Abrams took over the top job. But according to the article, the 62-year-old executive was not popular with the rank-and-file workers, who have lived through five years of dwindling commissions, frozen salaries, and numerous coworkers ushered out the door.
Retailers also voiced complaints about price hikes and exclusive deals with large distributors at the expensive of smaller independents.
Disgruntled employees may have been the ones who led to Abrams’s downfall. A source told the Post that one of the wives on the yacht cruise posted photos on her Facebook page, and news of the party spread through the office.
A Benjamin Moore spokeswoman confirmed Abrams had been terminated and replaced by Bob Merritt, a restaurant industry veteran. She had no further comment at the time. But in a June 28 email to Home Channel News, company spokeswoman Diana Dozier said: “Mr. Abrams was let go due to the difference in strategy” from Warren Buffet, particularly when it came to distribution channels and brand strategy.
N.J. police officer convicted of shoplifting
An off-duty police officer in central New Jersey was convicted of shoplifting in a jury trial on June 14, according to a press release issued by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office.
Darnell Esdaile, 46, a Freehold Borough police office, was arrested at Home Depot in Freehold Township on Nov. 11, 2010. He was detained by loss prevention officers after exiting the store with laminate flooring he had not paid for. The merchandise was valued at approximately $500.
Testimony at trial revealed that approximately an hour before his arrest.
Esdaile had been in the Freehold Township Home Depot and loaded eight boxes of laminate flooring on a flatbed cart, as well as a steam mop. Esdaile approached the cashier, advised her that he had already paid for the flooring and simply wanted to be charged for the mop.
When Esdaile failed to produce a receipt for his alleged purchase, the
cashier alerted store security. Esdaile ultimately set the steam mop aside and proceeded to another register where he paid for the eight boxes of laminate flooring with a credit card.
The defendant left the store and loaded the purchased merchandise into his car. Then Esdaile proceeded back into the store with the same flatbed cart and reselected the same type of flooring in the same exact quantity. Additionally, he placed six pieces of quarter-round molding on the flatbed cart, along with the flooring. Esdaile then made his way to a register, where he dealt with another cashier and showed her a receipt for the earlier purchased flooring. At that time, Esdaile indicated to the cashier that he had already purchased the flooring, but had forgotten to purchase the quarter-round molding. He showed the cashier his receipt for the first batch of laminate flooring, purchased just minutes before, and requested to be rung up only for the molding.
Esdaile then attempted to leave the store with the unpaid flooring when he was stopped by Home Depot security. He was escorted by loss prevention officers and taken to an office within the store until officers from the Freehold Township police department arrived.
Esdaile was found guilty of shoplifting, a fourth degree crime. After the verdict, the defendant was ordered to immediately forfeit his position as a police officer with the Freehold Borough police department. He will be sentenced on Sept. 28, 2012.
In addition to forfeiture of employment, Esdaile faces a maximum potential
sentence of up to 18 months in state prison, along with various fines. He remains free on bail pending his September sentencing. Esdaile was sworn in as a Freehold Borough police officer on March 4, 1996. As a result of his arrest for the theft of the materials, he was suspended from his job, without pay, on Nov. 17, 2010. At that time his salary was $99,402.
Masco names new executive
Home products manufacturer Masco Corp. has promoted Jai Shah as its new VP human resources, replacing the retiring Charles Greenwood, according to a June 12 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Shah, 46, joined Masco in 2003 and most recently served as the company’s VP finance, retail/wholesale platform.
Greenwood will continue with Masco until 2013 to help ensure a smooth transition, the announcement said.
Masco makes a number of products including Behr paint, KraftMaid and Merillat cabinets, Delta faucets, Milgrad windows and builders hardware.