(Bloomberg) ComScore Inc., the Internet and entertainment research firm, replaced its chief executive officer and chief financial officer as the board’s accounting probe dragged on into its sixth month.
Co-founder Gian Fulgoni was named CEO, replacing Serge Matta, who will serve as executive vice chairman and advise his replacement, according to a statement Wednesday. Chief Revenue Officer David Chemerow takes over as CFO for Melvin Wesley III, who will leave the company after a transition period.
Shares of ComScore gained as much a 5.8 percent to $27.55. ComScore plunged in March after disclosing that its audit committee received a message regarding the company’s accounting. That disclosure came just weeks after ComScore acquired Rentrak in a stock-swap valued at more than $800 million. It’s still down almost 34 percent this year.
The company began a review of the matter, delayed filing the year-end financial results and canceled an investor event in March. Two weeks ago, Executive Chairman Magid Abraham resigned from the Reston, Virginia-based company without giving a reason.
The accounting probe has hurt sales so far this year, executives said during a conference call Wednesday to discuss the personnel changes. ComScore now expects to report $214 million to $218 million in revenue from the first half of this year, trailing analysts’ average estimate of $236 million.
The company won’t provide additional earnings forecasts until its audit committee completes the review and reports findings to the board, they said. As of June, an independent counsel and advisers to the audit committee had completed a “substantial amount” of their factual inquiries to address the panel’s review, according to a regulatory filing.
In addition to the changes in top leadership positions, Executive Vice Chairman Bill Livek, who previously served as the CEO of Rentrak, will take over day-to-day responsibility for the TV, cross-platform and movies-measurement businesses, the company announced Wednesday.
ComScore has expanded movie-tracking deals with Walt Disney Co. and Sony Corp. and has started measuring online-video viewing on Hulu, management said on the call. The company’s goal is to chart viewing on all household devices.
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