Ex-Diamond Foods CEO to Repay Bonuses

Michael Mendes, who was president/CEO when Diamond Foods made questionable payments to walnut growers, formally resigned from the company effective Nov. 19, and has agreed to pay back of $2,743,400 in 2010 and 2011 bonuses and return 6,665 shares of Diamond common stock he was awarded.

Mendes and Steven Neil, Diamond’s former chief financial officer, had been placed on administrative leave from their positions back in February. The administrative leave was without pay after April 6. Neil also was terminated Nov. 19.

An investigation by the board of directors found accounting irregularities, and the company is in the process of restating its earnings for fiscal years 2010 and 2011 and part of 2012. The problems caused Procter & Gamble to cancel its sale of the Pringles potato crisp business to Diamond and to negotiate a deal with Kellogg Co.

Diamond also noted Mendes will not be paid any severance payment in connection with his resignation. However, he is entitled to a retirement plant payout of approximately $2.7 million, which is expected to be paid in December.

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