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Shake-Ups Continue in Efforts to Reverse Ducommun's Losses

May 22, 1987|MARY ANN GALANTE | Times Staff Writer

Nearly two months after the president of Cypress-based Ducommun Inc. was forced out in the wake of unexpectedly high losses of $19.2 million for 1986, the aerospace and electronics distribution company continues shuffling management in an effort to end its problems.

In the latest move Thursday, Kierulff Electronics--Ducommun's largest division--announced a flurry of mid-level management shake-ups and a cost-slashing consolidation of its Los Angeles and Chatsworth divisions.

The steps could save Ducommun "probably well over $100,000" annually, according to Mark Jorgensen, a company spokesman.

Several industry analysts hailed the latest shake-ups, saying they can only help the beleaguered company's bottom line.

"One of the problems . . . with the electronics distribution industry has been severe deterioration of gross profit margins," said Clarke L. Walser, a research analyst with Chicago Corp. "If it (Ducommun) can serve customers well out of one branch rather than two, it's got to be favorable."

The company hit the fiscal skids in the last quarter of 1986, when it lost $18.6 million, about twice what Wall Street analysts had been predicting. The Kierulff unit, which accounts for up to 70% of Ducommun's sales, was largely responsible for the loss, announced in late March.

Almost immediately, Ducommun forced the resignation of W. Donald Bell, corporate president, director and president of the Kierulff unit. On May 12, Bell was formally replaced as Kierulff's president by William J. Smith.

The latest reorganizations center on Ducommun's May 15 decision to merge its Los Angeles and Chatsworth offices.

The company on Thursday handed overall responsibility for the operation to Brian Clark, who was promoted to vice president of the Pacific region for Kierulff from his former post as manager of the Kierulff San Jose division.

The expanded Chatsworth office will continue to be headed by Dick Pisapia. His counterpart in the Los Angeles office, Larry Bramon, formerly the division manager, has been offered a new post, the company said.

According to Tom Hunt, vice president of field operations for Kierulff, only one employee has been laid off because of the consolidation.

Several management switches also were announced Thursday for Kierulff's East Coast territory. They included what a company spokesman said was the "performance-related" termination of the manager of the Fairfield, N.J., division.

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