Aimia CEO David Johnston to step down

Loyalty rewards company Aimia Inc. says CEO David Johnston is stepping down.

Company has seen its stock price crater since Air Canada announced intention to end partnership

Loyalty rewards company Aimia Inc. says CEO David Johnston is stepping down.

The company said in a news release late Thursday that Johnston and the company's board of directors "mutually agreed on his departure," but did not elaborate.

A replacement has not been named and Johnston will remain in his post until a new CEO is named.

"I am proud of the results we have achieved over the past year despite significant challenges" said Johnston in a release.

"As Aimia reshapes itself with a tighter business and geographic footprint, it is the right time for me to further my career elsewhere."

Meanwhile, the operator of the Aeroplan loyalty program says it earned $21.4 million in net earnings during the quarter ending March 31 and 25 cents per adjusted share from continuing operations.

That was up from $9.6 million and a 13 cents per adjusted share in the same period a year ago.

Total revenue during the period was up slightly at $406 million during the quarter, up from $402.4 million a year ago.

The quarterly results and the departure of Johnston come as Aimia faces the prospect of a shareholder revolt after a U.S. investor vowed to vote against the existing board of director nominees at today's annual meeting.

22NW Fund LP of Seattle blames Aimia Inc.'s poor performance and plummeting share price directly on the board's actions including the "botched" Air Canada renegotiation and the sale of the British program Nector to retailer Sainsbury.

The airline served notice last year that it does not plan to renew its 30-plus year partnership when the current contract ends in 2020.

Fund manager Aron English said earlier this month that board members "should be fired immediately."

22NW Fund said it will vote at Friday's annual meeting against chairman Robert Brown and Johnston along with directors Roman Doroniuk, Thomas Gardner, Emma Griffin, Robert Kreidler and William McExan and instead support new director nominees Brian Edwards, Philip Mittleman and Jeremy Rabe.


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