Commander management overhauled

Commander's board is hoping to breathe new life into the company with a different managing director and has flagged plans to further refresh its management team next year.

The ASX-listed integrator's managing director, Adrian Coote, was the first senior management casualty last week, quitting his post after four years at the helm. The news came after the troubled ASX-listed integrator faced shareholders over its poor financial performance and plummeting share price.

Coote has been immediately replaced with acting managing director, Amanda Lacaze, who was previously the executive chairman at Orion Telecommunications. She will officially take over as CEO and managing director on January 7 and has become an executive director. According to a Commander statement, Coote will remain on leave until that time.

Lacaze's resume features 20 years of management and marketing roles including managing director of marketing for Telstra, AOL/7 CEO and various roles with ICI (now Orica).

Commander chairperson, Elizabeth Nosworthy, said Lacaze will focus on rebuilding the business. "With extensive experience in the telecommunications sector and a proven track record of optimising the performance of public companies, the board is confident Amanda has the skills and experience to set the course for Commander's future success," Nosworthy said.

At its shareholder meeting on November 30, Nosworthy put the brunt of the blame for its financial woes on management's shoulders, and said they had made errors in "executing the company's business strategy". Nosworthy told ARN Coote's departure was the first step in introducing new management.

"We have moved to turn the page for the company and put in a CEO who is very focused and committed. I'm pleased about the new start for the company," she said. "There's no doubt we have to refresh and strengthen the management team - this will be one of the things on Amanda's list."

Nosworthy also clarified Commander's position on a potential sale.

She said the board had not received any bids that it could recommend to shareholders.

It would not contemplate any proposals for a breakup of the core elements of the company but continue to look for ways to recapitalise the business, Nosworthy said

"We will be focused on building the company and maximising shareholder value," she said. "We have ruled out selling any core parts of the business. We've got to focus on providing good customer service and on our franchisees."

Commander has also appointed former Powertel CEO and non-executive chairman of Zingmobile Group, Shane Allen, as a non-executive director. In the meantime, Commander major shareholder, Hunter Hall Investment, has continued to creep up its holding power, raising its voting stake to 17.85 per cent last week. It is the sixth share buy-up the investment firm has made over the past month, and trebles its stake in the company.

Commander's shares were trading at $0.34 at the time of press.