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Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory board chair steps down to lead the company

Jeff Geygan took over in May as interim CEO; company’s governance policy prohibits dual roles
Rocky Mountain has spent the last five months searching for a permanent CEO. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file)

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Board of Directors chairman Jeff Geygan has surrendered his position on the board, the company announced Tuesday.

The decision was made per the company’s governance policy, which does not allow Geygan to hold both the interim CEO position and board chair at once. In mid-May, Geygan took over the interim-CEO role after the previous interim CEO, Starlette Johnson, resigned on May 13.

Johnson had served the role of interim CEO for just four months before announcing her resignation. Geygan has been a director on the board of RMCF since August 2021, and served as board chair from June 2022 to May 2024.

The board has elected Johnson as its new chairwoman.

“The Board has concluded that the Company will be best served by a CEO who is committed to being present at the production facility in Durango on a full-time basis,” Geygan said. “For this reason, we felt it was appropriate for me to relocate to Durango as I step into the role.”

Geygan

Because Johnson came out of retirement to accept the role and lived in another state, she decided it was best to give up the interim CEO position in favor of what the board of directors was looking for, Geygan told The Durango Herald on May 24.

In addition, Geygan will take a leave of absence from his position as board chairman for Global Value Investment Corp., an investment research and advisory firm he founded in 2007. That is so Geygan can focus on his duties as the interim CEO.

During his time as board chair, Geygan has seen the company through some rough patches, including litigation accusing dissident shareholders of conspiring to fraudulently induce the company into a cooperation agreement. It was later resolved when the company agreed to drop the lawsuit in order to move forward with enacting its strategic plan in December 2022.

The two parties agreed not pursue legal action against each other until 2025.

Geygan stepping down is just the latest in a whirlwind of changes RMCF has undergone in the last six months since the firing of its former CEO Rob Sarlls. Sarlls was let go based on the company’s performance under his leadership in January.

Just a few weeks ago, the company’s chief financial officer, Allen Arroyo, resigned, leaving the company on the hunt to find candidates for two crucial executive positions.

“Jeff brings the strategy-oriented leadership and financial discipline that are needed to guide RMCF as we navigate this transitional period,” said RMCF Audit Committee Chair Brett Seabert in a release. “In light of our CFO’s notice of resignation from the Company on May 7, last week we filed an extension to issue our form 10-K for the fiscal year ending February 29, 2024. We are prepared to file our final form 10-K on or before the extension deadline of June 13, 2024.”

A Form 10-K is a yearly report that publicly traded companies must file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to disclose their business operations and financial performance for the previous fiscal year. Companies are unable to hold annual shareholder meetings until they file a Form 10-K.

Fines and other penalties can also ensue if the form is not filed by deadline.

tbrown@durangoherald.com



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