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O.C. BUSINESS PLUS

Gish Biomedical CEO, 3 Board Members Resign

Executives: Irvine-based medical device maker has struggled in the face of competition.

March 17, 2000|MARC BALLON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Gish Biomedical Inc., which has experienced several painful upheavals, said Thursday that its new chief executive and three of its seven board members have resigned.

James R. Yarter, who became chief executive of the Irvine-based company in December, resigned this week for personal reasons. The company would not elaborate and Yarter could not be reached for comment.

John W. Galuchie Jr., a board member since September, was named interim chief executive and chairman. He is an executive with an institutional Gish shareholder.

Yarter's departure surprised other Gish executives, said Jim Talevich, chief financial officer.

Gish, which designs and makes disposable medical devices, has struggled in recent times in the face of heavy competition. The company has lost about $7 million in the past 3 1/2 years. In the past two years, it also has slashed its work force by about one-third to 160 employees.

Earlier this week, directors Jack W. Brown, Richard W. Dutrisac and Howard F. Bovers also resigned for personal reasons.

Brown served as president, chief executive and chairman, resigning all three positions last September. He had served on the board since 1980.

Dutrisac had been a director since 1987. Bovers joined the board in 1999.

The remaining board members have yet to decide whether they will replace the trio, Talevich said.

Galuchie, the interim chief executive and new chairman, is vice president of Asset Value Fund Limited Partnership. The firm and its affiliates hold a 29% stake in the company.

Gish stock on Thursday dropped 38 cents $4.75 a share in Nasdaq trading. Shares have gained nearly 41% since the beginning of the year.

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