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BearingPoint May Strive for Adaptability

In May, BearingPoint's $250 million line of credit was placed on review by Moody's Investors Service.

Describing Blazer's departure as a mutual decision "by the board and Rand," McGeary said, "We are in a business where change is part of reality. We need to change the business to adapt to our clients' needs."

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BearingPoint Chief Blazer Quits; No Reason Given (The Washington Post, Nov 11, 2004)
BearingPoint Wins ID Project at TSA (The Washington Post, Aug 16, 2004)
BearingPoint Debt on Review (The Washington Post, May 12, 2004)
BearingPoint Archive

Some analysts say the company's management team has not been aggressive enough in increasing the bottom line.

"They were very passive. . . . There was a lack of vision in going out and seeing what the market was going to do," said Jeffrey Embersits, an analyst with Shareholder Value Management.

McGeary, 54, said that as he works to boost profit, cutting costs will be a priority. But he added that no layoffs are expected. BearingPoint has 16,557 employees, including more than 3,100 in the Washington area.

"We do not have the problem of too many employees serving our clients," he said. "We are in a hiring mode and will continue that going forward."

McGeary would not comment on industry speculation that the company is a target for acquisition.

Blazer, 54, did not return calls for comment, and McGeary did not speculate on the former chief executive's next move. Between 1997 and 2002, the two men served as co-chief executives of the company, which was previously called KPMG Consulting.

BearingPoint's board of directors, which accepted Blazer's resignation at a meeting on Wednesday, has hired an executive search firm to find a permanent replacement. McGeary said he will be a candidate.

Investors responded positively to the company's changes yesterday, sending BearingPoint shares up 81 cents, or 9 percent, to $9.81. Analysts who track the firm had mixed reactions. Some said a change was needed.

"While such senior resignations are rarely positive, we think this situation is positive," Loomis wrote in a report yesterday. "We believe the board of directors is unhappy with the slow pace of fundamental improvement . . . and is acting proactively to bring in more effective management."

But Paul Hsi, an analyst with Moody's, yesterday reiterated a negative outlook for the company that the rating service issued in September.

"Any time you have a change of leadership, it signals that there is some unrest with the way the company has been performing," Hsi said. "The company has had difficulty integrating some of the acquisitions it has done internationally and some difficulty curtailing costs on federal contracts, using subcontractors."


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