Smith & Wesson parent replaces CEO

Debney had led the company since 2011

The parent company of the gun maker Smith & Wesson announced Wednesday that chief executive James Debney was being replaced.

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American Outdoor Brands wasn't specific, but the reason given was for "nonfinancial" behavior that broke company rules, according to a company release.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
AOBCAMERICAN OUTDOOR BRANDS9.44-0.17-1.77%

Debney had led the company and its predecessor company since 2011.

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During his tenure, the company saw peaks and valleys. Sales soared on concerns among gun users that ownership rules would be tightened,  according to the Wall Street Journal.

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Debney was to become CEO of the company's outdoor products unit, following a planned spinoff, which the company is going ahead with in the second half of 2020.

Company chairman Barry Monheit said, "We appreciate James' contributions toward the growth and development of our company and its infrastructure."

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American Outdoor named Mark Smith and Brian Murphy as co-CEOs of the combined company.  Smith will become CEO of the gun unit, with Murphy leading the outdoor business.

Debney received $3.76 million in compensation last year, including a $750,000 basic salary, according to regulatory filings.

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The stock has lost two-thirds of its value on slower gun sales following the election of President Trump.