Grimes Out as CCO North America Chief

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Suzanne Grimes’ tenure as head of North America operations for Clear Channel Outdoor (CCO) came to an abrupt end last month.

GrimesIn an 8-K filing with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission, CCO announced Aug. 13 that Grimes “would no longer serve as President and Chief Operating Officer–United States and Canada of the Company,” effective immediately. The company also began a search for a new president/COO for the Americas segment.

The company also announced an three-person interim Office of the President for the Americas segment of its business. Filling the temporary positions are Franklin G. (Rocky) Sisson, interim chief revenue officer for CCO Americas; Gene Leehan, senior regional president for CCO Americas; and Scott Wells of Bain Capital Partners.

At the time of the 8-K filing on August 14, severance arrangements were still being finalized; the filing also noted it would be amended when terms are reached. As of today, there’s been no change in the filing.

In a Aug. 26 interview with the New York Post, Grimes noted that she would “take Labor Day to spend time with my family, and get back into things in September.” She also said that she had nothing lined up at the moment.

Her last posting on her @SuzanneGrimes Twitter account was in the mid-afternoon of Aug. 13, noting a CCO tribute to the late Robin Williams.

As detailed in the 2014 proxy statement for CCO stockholders, Grimes would be entitled to 18 months severance pay if the company dismissed her without cause or she left under “good reason” terms noted in her December 2012 employment agreement. The pay would include her current salary, plus 150% of her current target bonus — paid in monthly installments over 18 months — and a prorated share of her 2014 bonus.

Based on 2013 figures, the 2014 CCO proxy statement calculated the total cash payout to Grimes of $3,198,189.

The severance, as noted in her contract, would include an 18-month non-compete contract, plus an 18-month prohibition on gaining current CCO clients or any CCO employee/contractor hired on or before Feb. 13 of this year.

Grimes became president/COO of the Americas segment on Jan. 1, 2013.