Polistuk leaves Celestica

Eugene Polistuk, chairman and CEO of Celestica Inc., retired suddenly late Wednesday as the electronics manufacturer reported a smaller fourth-quarter loss, right in the middle of its previously released guidance.

"I believe the tech storm" is over and Celestica is very well positioned to benefit as tech companies recover, Polistuk said. He will focus on family and personal interests.

Celestica stock closed Wednesday up 30 cents at $25.35, well above its 52-week low of $13.50.

After the market closed, it said the loss for the three months ended Dec. 31 was $164.8 million US (80 cents US a share), compared with a loss of $434.7 million ($1.90 US a share) a year earlier. Revenue was flat at $1.91 billion US.

The company said the adjusted loss (before various financial charges) was four cents a share US, compared with guidance of a loss of between one and nine cents US a share.

Using its adjusted figures, Celestica's fourth quarter weakened from last year. This year, there was a loss of $4 million US, compared with profit of $39 million US in 2002.

Director Robert Crandell will repalce Polistuk as chairman, while Stephen Delaney, president of Americas Operations, will become CEO while the company seeks a replacement.

Polistuk led the company since IBM founded it in 1994. Holding company Onex Corp. bought it in 1996, and took it public in 1998. Onex controls Celestica through multiple voting shares.