***Updated – 9/13/2010***
ATLANTA - The Board of Directors of Rollins, Inc., acting through its independent directors, acted on Tuesday to terminate the employment, effective immediately, of Glen W. Rollins as executive vice president of the company and as president of the subsidiaries of the company including Orkin, LLC.
According to an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution family discord within Rollins, Inc., was the reason Glen W. Rollins was fired by the company's board of directors which includes his father, Gary W. Rollins, the CEO and his uncle, R. Randall Rollins, the chairman.
No reason was given in the five-sentence news release the company issued after the close of markets Tuesday. But Rollins' firing comes as he and his siblings, Ruth Ellen Rollins; Nancy Louise Rollins; and O. Wayne Rollins II, filed a lawsuit suit against their father, Gary W. Rollins and uncle, R. Randall Rollins. The lawsuit, filed in Fulton County Superior Court on Aug. 23 appears to be a dispute over the children's trusts, on which Gary Rollins and his brother, R. Randall, serve as trustees.
“We view this as a family matter,” Martha Craft, vice president, Public Relations & Corporate Communications, Rollins, Inc., told PCT
The lawsuit does not name the company itself.
Gary Rollins, who served as Orkin's president until 2004 and has been Rollins' president since 1984, will assume these responsibilities for the time being.
“We don’t see it (Glen’s dismissal) affecting the company or the profitability of the company and the analysts are saying the same thing,” said Craft, who added that Gary Rollins is “not a rookie” when it comes to running the business.
Editor's note: This is an evolving story, so return to PCT Online for additional updates.
A prominent Atlanta family comes apart
According to the article, “The battle royale in the family erupted just a year after the death of the family's 98-year-old matriarch, Grace Crum Rollins.”
On Aug. 23, Rollins siblings Glen W., Ruth Ellen, Nancy Louise, and O. Wayne II filed suit in Fulton County Superior Court against their father, Gary Rollins, and their uncle, R. Randall Rollins, over two trusts established for them. The suit seeks information on the trusts, the siblings' attorney said. The lawsuit also names another board member, Henry B. Tippie, who, with Gary and R. Randall oversees those trusts. On Aug. 25, the children's mother, Ruth M. Rollins, petitioned for divorce from Gary, seeking to dissolve their nearly 45-year marriage.
The article noted that there is uncertainty about what effect, if any, legal squabbling among the family might have on the company’s operations. Rollins Inc. is majority-owned by the family and entities it controls. The family also has interests in Dover Downs Entertainment, a Delaware company that owns a casino and hotel as well as horse and auto racing tracks. Dover Downs is the partner of John Aderhold and Dan O'Leary in a bid announced last year proposing a casino at Underground Atlanta.
A major strategic move by Rollins Inc., such as buying another company, might be put on hold without a consensus of the family, but daily operations will remain under the direction of the company’s top officers.
Rollins Inc. has largely been recession-proof. The company recorded profits of $83.9 million in 2009, up 21 percent over 2008, thanks in part to the 2008 acquisition of HomeTeam Pest Defense and Crane. Its second-quarter profits this year hit $27.7 million, up about 9 percent from the same period a year ago.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution