MINNEAPOLIS - Kathy Marinello has stepped down as chairman and chief executive officer of Ceridian Corporation after just two years at the helm of the business services company, according to the Star Tribune. Prior to becoming CEO at Ceridian, Marinello was president and CEO of GE Fleet Services.

Ceridian said in a prepared statement that Marinello, 53, will be replaced on an interim basis by Lee Kennedy, 59, a current member of the company's board of directors and vice chairman of Fidelity National Information Services Inc., a Jacksonville, Fla.-based technology service provider to the banking industry.

Ceridian did not give a reason for Marinello's departure in its statement, and officials did not immediately return telephone calls by the Tribune. The company will search for a permanent replacement for Marinello while Kennedy serves as interim CEO, the company said.

"We are extremely appreciative of Kathy's leadership at Ceridian and wish her the best," said Ceridian board member Scott Jaeckel, in the statement. He said that Marinello and her team had "made significant improvements which have strengthened" the company.

Marinello's departure is the latest in a series of unexpected management changes at the company.

In 2007, the company fired one of its top executives for allegedly disclosing confidential information to activist hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management LP, whose founder, William Ackman, had been trying to oust the company's board. Other management changes occurred in 2004 following the company's discovery of accounting errors, forcing it to restate five years' of financial results.

Ceridian, which provides payroll, human resources and technology services to corporations, was acquired in November 2007 by private equity giant Thomas H. Lee Partners of New York and Fidelity National Financial Inc., a specialty insurance company.


Originally posted on Automotive Fleet