Liberty Tax fires second chief executive in 6 months

Liberty Tax has fired its chief executive officer and replaced him with a board member handpicked by the company's founder, who was also fired less than six months ago.

The Virginia Beach-based Liberty Tax is the third-largest tax preparation chain in the country, behind H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt. The Virginian-Pilot reports that the company announced the firing of Ed Brunot Monday, with no explanation.

Brunot replaced founder John T. Hewitt when the board voted to fire Hewitt in September after an internal investigation found he'd likely had multiple romantic relationships with employees and franchisees and given those women preferential treatment.

Nicole Ossenfort was named as Brunot's replacement. In an email obtained by The Pilot, Ossenfort notes that Hewitt will serve in an advisory role and remain chairman of the board.