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Sarasota manufacturer puts CEO on leave for alleged ethics violations

  • By Mark Gordon
  • | 9:05 p.m. July 8, 2024
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
  • Manatee-Sarasota
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For the second time in just over four years, Sarasota-based hydraulic cartridge valve manufacturer Helios Technologies has replaced a CEO for allegations of a potential violation of the company’s code of business conduct and ethics. 

The latest news is in regard to Josef Matosevic, who had been named president and CEO of the company, one of the largest private employers in Sarasota, June 9, 2020. Matosevic, who had been an executive for other large industrial businesses in the area, including Welbilt in Pasco County, replaced Wolfgang Dangel, who had been let go, the company said in April 2020, for violations of company policy, including “poor judgment involving a consensual relation with an employee.”

Josef Matosevic
Courtesy image

Matosevic, according to a statement from Helios after the market closed Tuesday, was immediately placed on paid leave effective July 1, 2024, as a result of the allegations. His leave, the company adds, “is pending completion of an ongoing investigation being conducted by the board with the assistance of outside legal counsel. Helios will make further announcements regarding this matter when the board approves any course of action for which further disclosure is appropriate.” (Matosevic was a board member, in addition to his role as CEO and president.) 

The alleged conduct, the company adds, “does not relate to, and does not impact, the company’s strategy or financial reporting.” It released no other information on the allegations. (Helios posted $835.6 million in revenue in 2023. The company has some 700 employees in Sarasota.)  

The Tuesday statement rom the company also announced its new leaders: 

  • CFO Sean Bagan was named interim president and CEO, and will maintain his CFO position.Bagan was named CFO at Helios last year after 23 years at powersports and off-road firm Polaris Inc.
  • Philippe Lemaitre who has been chairman of the Helios board since June 2013, was named executive chairman 
Sean Bagan
Courtesy image

“Our board took prompt actions as soon as we were notified of an alleged potential violation of our code of business conduct and ethics,” Lemaitre says in the release. “The board has the utmost confidence in Sean to also serve as Interim President and Chief Executive Officer and I will support our talented executive team as we build on our business momentum and execute on our strategic priorities.”

Helios shares are traded on the NYSE under the symbol HLIO. The company sells products in a host of markets including construction, material handling, agriculture, energy, recreational vehicles, marine and health and wellness. It sells its products to customers in over 90 countries.



Mark Gordon

Mark Gordon is the managing editor of the Business Observer. He has worked for the Business Observer since 2005. He previously worked for newspapers and magazines in upstate New York, suburban Philadelphia and Jacksonville.

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