Enzon: Buchalter Out as Chairman But Keeps CEO Job; Board Shuffled

Last Updated Jul 23, 2009 5:17 PM EDT

Enzon CEO Jeffrey H. Buchalter can be fired, it turns out. In a compromise ceasefire with angry investor group DellaCamera Capital, Buchalter gave up his position as chairman of the company's board but kept his role as CEO.

DellaCamera, livid at the decline in value of its stake in Enzon, had mounted a legal challenge to fire Buchalter after it discovered his contract calls for him to be both chairman and CEO , and that he can only be fired with 12 months notice -- making him virtually un-fire-able.

Richard Mansouri, Portfolio Manager and Head of Research at DellaCamera, stated:

We believe the vise-like grip that CEO and former Chairman Jeffrey H. Buchalter has had on this Company has been significantly loosened.
DellCamera will thus abandon its suit. At the same time, an extra seat on the board has been created for Harold J. Levy, senior executive of Iridian Asset Management, another big Enzon stakeholder. And Dr. Alexander J. Denner, a Carl Icahn factotum, becomes non-executive chairman.

So, Buchalter has some new bosses -- and they're all hedge fund/private equity groups. That'll be interesting!