American Outdoor Brands Corp. said James Debney, pictured, has been replaced as president and CEO and as a director of the company following the determination by the board of directors that he “engaged in conduct inconsistent with non-financial company policy.”

Mark P. Smith and Brian D. Murphy have been named as co-presidents and co-chief executive officers of American Outdoor Brands Corp., effective immediately.

Smith was most recently president of the Manufacturing Services Division of the company, while Murphy was most recently president of the Outdoor Products & Accessories Division.

The company said it is proceeding with its previously announced plan to spin-off its outdoor products and accessories business as a tax-free stock dividend to its stockholders in the second half of calendar 2020, a transaction that would create two independent publicly traded companies: Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc. (which would encompass the firearms business) and American Outdoor Brands, Inc. (which would encompass the outdoor products and accessories business).

Jeffrey D. Buchanan, CFO, will continue to serve as the lead executive on coordinating and executing the separation of the two businesses.

Upon completion of the transaction, and as previously announced, Smith will become president and CEO of Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc. Also upon completion of the transaction, Brian D. Murphy, currently president of the company’s Outdoor Products & Accessories Division, will become president and CEO of American Outdoor Brands, Inc.

Barry M. Monheit, chairman of the board, said, “We appreciate James’ contributions toward the growth and development of our company and its infrastructure. The board believes the company is fortunate to have two highly capable and experienced leaders in Mark Smith and Brian Murphy. Each has played a critical role in the development of our strategic plans, including our intention to establish each business as an independent, publicly-traded company. In addition, Mark and Brian have each demonstrated, through years of leadership and service, their extensive knowledge of and passion for our company, our customers and our industries. Their capabilities and objectives position them well to share the combined CEO role as the team completes the separation of our two businesses later in 2020. The Board has every confidence that they will provide the vision and determination to lead each independent company and its highly respected brand portfolio toward a successful future.”

American Outdoor Brands reports two segments: Firearms and Outdoor Products & Accessories. Firearms manufactures handgun, long gun and suppressor products sold under the Smith & Wesson, M&P, Thompson/Center Arms and Gemtech brands, as well as provides forging, machining and precision plastic injection molding services.

AOB Outdoor Products & Accessories is a provider of shooting, reloading, gunsmithing and gun cleaning supplies, specialty tools and cutlery, and electro-optics products and technology for firearms. This segment produces products under the brands Caldwell, Crimson Trace, Wheeler, Tipton, Frankford Arsenal, Lockdown, BOG, Hooyman, Smith & Wesson Accessories, M&P Accessories, Thompson/Center Arms Accessories, Performance Center Accessories, Schrade, Old Timer, Uncle Henry, Imperial, BUBBA, UST, and LaserLyte.

Photo courtesy Getty