Sanson's retirement spooks PSA investors

Sunday, August 22, 2004

August 23, 2004

NORCROSS, Ga. ­ - Pediatric Services of America founder and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Sansone retired abruptly in early August, sending company stock plummeting 25%.
In a statement, the Norcross, Ga.-based company gave no reason for the 60-year-old Sansone’s decision. A company spokesman also declined to say what prompted the retirement, according to a Georgia newspaper.
Chairman Edward K. Wissing has temporarily assumed the role of CEO, while PSA's board of directors forms a special search committee to find a successor.
Wissing was appointed chairman of the board of directors in 2002 after Sansone dropped the title. He had decided his dual role as chairman and CEO should be separated given the challenges facing public companies at the time. Wissing previously served as president and CEO of American HomePatient, from May 1984 until June 1998.
Sansone had been president and chief executive since PSA was formed in 1989, and he is credited with growing PSA from a start-up company of 12 employees into an a network of 120 branch offices in 22 states.
Sansone's compensation as PSA's president included a $378,000 salary and a $140,000 bonus, according to the company’s latest proxy statement. The board had increased Sansone’s salary to $400,000 in fiscal 2004.
The company's stock opened Monday, Aug. 9, at $10.05, but fell following the announcement to close at $7.50.
Just days following the announcement, PSA filed its 2004 third quarter results. Highlights of the fiscal report included a year-over-year increase in quarterly net revenue of 8%, record cash collections of $62.4 million and a 20% year-over-year increase in nursing patients treated. The company also saw a 19% decrease in operating income when compared to 2003's third quarter results.