A clash of personalities between Cellnet managing director, Stephen Harrison, and the company’s chief operating officer (COO), Santo Pappalardo, has seen the latter have his contract terminated. Pappalardo was recently promoted to COO as a reward for the continued success of the IT Wholesale division, which he sold to Cellnet in October 2002. Harrison said the decision was something the board had been considering since Pappalardo was promoted. Cellnet will not be seeking a replacement and his duties will be absorbed by the rest of the management team. Pappalardo leaves immediately after agreeing to a six-month severance package. “The rest of the staff have taken it fairly well and the IT business continues to be an important part of the group going forward,” Harrison said. “When we purchased that business [IT Wholesale] it was only doing $36 million and we have grown it to $100 million by expanding into other states and throwing additional resources at it.” Harrison said the decision to retrench Pappalardo had nothing to do with his level of performance in his new role. “It was just a personality clash between Santo, me and the board,” Harrison said. “You can’t have that happening in a public company so it was best for the business to make the break and go our own way, which we did amicably.” Pappalardo said the forms of release he signed were subject to confidentiality and prevented him from speaking but he did confirm that his contract had been terminated. “I intend to relax for a while and see what happens,” he said.
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