May 9, 2011, 10:58 AM

Gilbert Fiorentino resigns from Systemax

The company’s top e-commerce executive also must surrender $11 million in stock and cash.

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Systemax Corp., a direct marketer of computer gear and consumer electronics, has accepted the resignation of its top e-commerce executive.

The board of directors for Systemax, No. 23 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, voted on May 3 to accept the resignation of Gilbert Fiorentino, the former CEO of its technology products group.

Systemax has had little to say publically about the specific reasons for why Fiorentino resigned as the executive in charge of its biggest business unit, which last year recorded sales of $3.33 billion, up 12.5% from $2.96 billion in 2009. But on April 18 Systemax placed Fiorentino on administrative leave, announced plans to terminate his employment and named Robert Leeds, the founding CEO of its technology products group, as interim CEO of that operation. At the time Systemax also said it was completing a whistleblower investigation of its Miami operations, which reported to Fiorentino.

At the May 3 meeting, the Systemax board and Fiorentino signed an agreement under which Firoentino had five business days to give back to the company assets totaling about $11 million, including more than 1 million shares of common stock and $480,000 in cash. The agreement also calls for Fiorentino to disclose his personal assets to Systemax, forfeit any other undiscovered assets and sign a 5-year non-compete agreement.

“The matters investigated occurred over a number of years, did not have a material impact on Systemax's previously reported financial results in any reporting period, and were limited to the company's Miami operations,” says Systemax.

In 2010, Fiorentino had total compensation of about $1.3 million, including a base salary of $501,753, Systemax says in its recently filed proxy statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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