Qualstar Hires Turnaround Specialist As CEO

Simi Valley-based Qualstar, the developer of enterprise tape libraries, said today that it is appointing a turnaround specialist as CEO of the company, under pressure from an investor looking to take over the company. Qualstar said it has hired Larry Firestone, who the company billed as a "turnaround specialist", as CEO, as part of a restructuring effort. Firestone had previously served as CFO of Xiotech, and also at Advanced Energy Industries, Applied Films Corp, and Woolson Spice & Coffee. Qualstar is facing a proxy battle from BKF Capital Group, Inc. and Steven N. Bronson--the largest, institutional shareholders--which are looking to remove all of the current member of its board, and take over control of the firm. BKF has said it is hoping to sell off the unprofitable parts of Qualstar's business. Firestone was already serving on Qualstar's board.