VeriFone says CEO to step down

VeriFone Systems Inc , a maker of credit card swipe machines, said Chief Executive Douglas Bergeron will step down after more than a decade at the company's helm.

The company's shares rose 7 percent to $21.90 in extended trading after closing at $20.46 on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday.

The departure comes just weeks after the company slashed its profit outlook that prompted several analysts to question the company's management.

"We do not believe his departure was amicable or voluntary," UBS Investment Research analyst John Williams wrote in a note to clients.

A U.S. appeals court revived a proposed securities class action against VeriFone in December that alleged CEO Bergeron was "reckless" in the accounting of its financial reports.

VeriFone last month appointed Marc Rothman chief financial officer after Robert Dykes retired.

Analysts see Rothman's appointment as a big positive for the company. "The addition of CFO Rothman will prove to be a major step forward for VeriFone, and we believe this change at the top will be similarly regarded," Williams added.

The company said chairman Richard McGinn will be interim CEO after Bergeron steps down on March 12. VeriFone said it has formed a search committee to look for a replacement for Bergeron, who was the CEO since 2001.

"I am confident that our search committee will identify a new leader who will bring a fresh perspective and enable us to achieve our full business potential," McGinn said in a statement.

VeriFone, based in San Jose, California, sells payments equipment to shops and restaurants. The company is seeking to move more to a service model for its systems, rather than straight equipment sales.

(Reporting by Neha Alawadhi in Bangalore; Editing by Supriya Kurane)