Ex-Presstek CFO severance: $275k

Presstek could be paying its former chief financial officer a severance of $275,000 if it is determined that he left the company without cause or for a “good reason,” but the exact terms of his severance agreement have not yet been disclosed, according to a proxy filed by the company on Tuesday.

CFO Moosa Moosa left Presstek in the midst of financial turmoil. The Hudson-based maker of printing equipment delayed its filing for more than a month because of questions the Securities and Exchange Commission raised over accounting related to the firm’s discontinuation of its line of analog presses. The questions prompted a delisting warning by the Nasdaq stock exchange.

The SEC approved Presstek’s accounting before the company filed its results last week – a move that resulted in removal of the delisting warning. In that filing, Presstek admitted a “weakness” in its financial accounting controls and “not maintaining a sufficient complement of personnel with the appropriate level of accounting knowledge, experience and training.” To help remedy the situation, the company hired Jeffrey Cook as CFO, replacing Moosa.

Moosa earned $278,087 in 2006, and was entitled to a lump sum severance of roughly the same amount. He also over the years collected some 255,000 shares of exercisable options.

The proxy indicated that the “termination of his options will be governed by the terms of his separation,” which was not disclosed.

CEO Edward J. Marino’s compensation package was $566,885 in 2006, including some $96,500 in deferred compensation.

John Dwyer received a pay raise after his title changed from lead director to board chairman in June. Dwyer was earning $50,000 a year as lead director, but in August, when he became chairman, the board granted him a retroactive pay raise of $100,000, a bonus of $175,000 and 50,000 shares of nonqualified stock options. In 2006, that compensation package amounted to $349,060.

The six other board members earned a total of $518,000 in compensation, with the law firm of one board member – Daniel Ebenstein (who had served on the compensation committee the previous year) — getting $3.2 million of work from the company over the past three years.

The proxy also revealed that the stake of the company’s largest shareholder — Peter Kellogg — has grown from 16 to 20 percent.

Kellogg, whom Forbes magazine recently ranked as the 278th richest person in the world, noting how he uses a loophole allowing him to set up an offshore insurance company primarily for the purposes of tax-free investments. That insurance company now holds more than 7.3 million shares of Presstek stock. – BOB SANDERS

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