April 18, 2011, 2:38 PM

Systemax intends to fire its top e-commerce executive

Gilbert Fiorentino is on leave following a whistleblower investigation.

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If Systemax Inc. ultimately has its way, the company’s top e-commerce executive is being forced out as Systemax completes a whistleblower investigation of its Miami operations.

Systemax, which owns and operates CompUSA.com, CircuitCity.com, TigerDirect.com and other e-commerce brands and is No. 22 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide has notified Gilbert Fiorentino, its top e-commerce executive and CEO of its technology products group, that the company intends to terminate his employment. Fiorentino has yet to comment on the company’s move for dismissal.

Systemax isn’t saying precisely why it intends to fire Fiorentino other than to say that the company’s audit committee has concluded an independent investigation into anonymous whistleblower allegations about its Miami operations. In a new filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Systemax says it has placed Fiorentino on administrative leave and named Robert Leeds, the founding CEO of its technology products group, as interim CEO of that business unit. Leeds also serves as the company’s vice chairman.

"We appreciate that our internal processes facilitated the efforts of the individual who brought these matters to our attention, and we appreciate the diligent work done by our audit committee and its independent counsel to thoroughly evaluate the complaints,” says Systemax CEO Richard Leeds. “Systemax's technology products businesses benefit from the leadership of a strong team and the hard work of many great employees throughout the organization."

Systemax has yet to release its proxy statement for 2010. But the 2009 proxy statement filed in April 2010 with the Securities and Exchange Commission stated that Fiorentino had a base salary of $501,378 and was eligible for a performance bonus of up to around $2.2 million.  

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