Molluso out, Hart steps back in

MONTREAL – After only 13 months on the job, Hartco Corp. has replaced president and CEO Anthony Molluso with the man who held the job before him.

Hartco, which owns computer retailers, resellers and integrators, announced Monday that Molluso had been replaced by company chairman Harry Hart,

who was president and CEO before appointing Molluso to the post in September, 2001. Hart took back the position on an interm basis, the company said in a news release.

The company was sitting silent after issuing the release, refusing to reply to several telephone calls for comment.

A family member said Wednesday morning that Molluso couldn’t be reached for comment either because he was at the dentist.

Hartco has a wide range of holdings in the computer world, including franchise retailers Compucentre, CompuSmart and The Telephone booth; solutions integrator Metafore Corp. and online reseller

Molluso came to the company from Sodisco Howden, which owns the Home Hardware and Do It franchises, where he’d been president and CEO.

Things didn’t appear to be troubling for the publicly-traded firm, which announced in September that it posted year over year improvement in results for the second quarter ended August 3.

Net earnings for the second quarter were $2,375,000 or $0.18 per share compared $654,000 or $0.05 per share for the same period last year. Net earnings for the six-months doubled to $5,448,000 or $0.42 per share compared to $2,697,000 or $0.21 per share last year.

“”We are very pleased with these results,”” Molluso said in a news release at the time. “”We continue to focus on increased efficiencies and lowering our operating costs and are seeing this discipline translate to significant bottom line growth. This quarter is our seventh consecutive quarter of improved results.””

In its most recent move, Hartco said the small Beattie Basics chain of four southern Ontario stores would convert to CompuSmart stores, bringing the total in the chain to 24. The chain’s revenues exceed $225 million.

In June, New Brunswick retailer Computer Village said its three stores would join the CompuSmart network.

In January, Hartco became the sole owner of Metafore, a Mississauga, Ont.-based IT integrator franchise with offices across the country. Hartco had owned one-third of the company until then. Metafore had annual revenue of $150 million, Hartco said at the time.

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer. Former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, Howard has written for several of ITWC's sister publications, including Before arriving at ITWC he served as a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times.

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