Accuride shake-up claims CEO, 392 workers

Sluggish sales of new heavy trucks have prompted parts supplier Accuride Corp. to switch out its president and CEO and lay off 392 employees, the Evansville company announced this morning.

Directors have accepted the tendered resignation of John R. Murphy and named independent director William M. Lasky as interim president and CEO. Lasky is chairman of Stoneridge Inc., a Warren, Ohio, maker of electronics components for vehicles.

Accuride also said it would eliminate 159 salaried positions, which amounts to 18 percent of its white-collar jobs, and 233 hourly workers, or 9 percent of its blue-collar work force.

It wasn’t immediately clear how many of the layoffs would come from its Evansville operations.

The actions will result in savings of $27.5 million a year, the company said.

After taking into account an anticipated $14.3 million restructuring charge in the third quarter, Accuride expects to end 2008 on the low end of previously announced earnings guidance of $85 million to $100 million.

Accuride also created an aftermarket division to diversify away from its reliance on selling to original equipment makers.

Heavy truck sales have softened as high fuel prices sap profits from trucking companies.

Accuride shares dropped 12 percent this morning to trade at $1.46. The stock has languished well below the $8 where it plateaued late last year and early this year. The stock traded at near $12 through much of 2005 and 2006.

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