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Benchmark Electronics, Inc. has announced the appointment of Paul J. Tufano, who most recently served as Chief Financial Officer of the Alcatel-Lucent Group, as an independent director to the Company's Board of Directors, effective immediately. Tufano will stand for re-election at the 2016 Annual Meeting of Shareholders.
Benchmark also announced today the retirement of Peter G. Dorflinger from the Board of Directors. Dorflinger has served as the Chairman of the Board for the last three years. The Board has elected David W. Scheible as non-executive Chairman of the Board, effective immediately.
"We are excited to welcome Paul Tufano to the Board of Directors, following a thorough process begun in 2015 with the assistance of a leading independent search firm," said David Scheible. "In the last five years, Benchmark has added three new independent directors, each bringing fresh perspective and experience to the Board. Paul's appointment reflects our ongoing commitment to add new, independent and highly qualified directors that have the skills, insight and experience to expand the depth and breadth of the Board. We are confident that Paul's extensive experience in finance, as well as electronics manufacturing, uniquely qualifies him to help oversee the Company's ongoing execution of its strategic plan and focus on driving shareholder returns."
Scheible added, "On behalf of the entire Board, I would like to thank Peter Dorflinger for his significant contributions and leadership during his distinguished tenure on the Benchmark Board. Peter provided tremendous insight, direction and continuity, particularly during the last three years while serving as the Board's first non-executive Chairman and as Benchmark transitioned to a new CEO. All of us at Benchmark are indebted to Peter for his service and wisdom, and we wish him all the best."
Tufano was the Chief Financial Officer of the Alcatel-Lucent Group, a telecommunications company, from 2008 through 2013. In September 2012, he was named Chief Operating Officer in addition to his Chief Financial Officer responsibilities. Previously, he was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Solectron Corporation, an electronics manufacturing services company, where he also served as Interim Chief Executive Officer. Prior to Solectron, Tufano served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Maxtor Corporation, a manufacturer of computer hard disks, having served previously as Chief Operating Officer and as Chief Financial Officer. Prior to joining Maxtor, he held management positions in finance and operations at IBM.
Tufano has served on the Board of Directors of Teradyne, Inc., a global supplier of automatic test equipment, since 2005, and on the Board of Directors of EnerSys, a global manufacturer, marketer and distributor of industrial batteries and related equipment, since 2015. He also served on the Board of Directors of International Manufacturing Services, Inc., an EMS provider, from 1996 to 1998. Tufano holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from St. John's University and a Masters of Business Administration, Finance, Accounting and International Business from Columbia University.
Benchmark noted that Tufano's appointment is the result of an extensive director search and consistent with the Board's practice of adding new directors on a periodic basis. The search was conducted by an independent search firm under the oversight of the Board's independent Nominating/Governance Committee. The search firm identified Tufano, together with numerous other potential candidates. Prior to appointing Tufano, the Board offered Engaged Capital the opportunity to meet with him, which Engaged Capital declined.
Corporate Governance Enhancements
Scheible added, "As part of our ongoing outreach and engagement with shareholders, we have received constructive input and a strong endorsement of our corporate governance practices. In keeping with best practices and consistent with feedback received from investors, in 2015, the Board of Directors approved an executive compensation 'clawback' policy relating to incentive compensation for any period in which the Company restates its earnings and revised Benchmark's securities trading policy to clarify the prohibition on officers or directors pledging Company securities and directors or employees hedging Company securities."
About Benchmark Electronics, Inc.
Benchmark provides integrated manufacturing, design and engineering services to original equipment manufacturers of industrial equipment (including equipment for the aerospace and defense industries), telecommunication equipment, computers and related products for business enterprises, medical devices, and test and instrumentation products. Benchmark's global operations include facilities in seven countries, and its common shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol BHE.