In a surprise move, Robert Van Patten has been named as Chief Executive Officer and President of controversial YTB International, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: YTBLA) effective immediately. He replaces J. Lloyd "Coach" Tomer, a YTB founder.
In addition, "Coach" Tomer has resigned as a director and as Chairman of the Board of Directors, YTB said. This will allow him to focus on mentoring YTB’s sales force while increasing his efforts with YTB’s philanthropic division, Passport to Giving.
No mention was made of YTB’s financial losses or the legal challenges faced by YTB in a civil action by the Illinois State Attorney General.
"When we founded YTB we knew it would become a successful company," Tomer said. "But success demanded more of our time be spent on corporate matters and less on our valued Reps and Site Owners. Bob Van Patten's contributions and his grasp of our unique business model have proven to me that he is absolutely the right person for role of CEO of YTB International." Van Patten brings over 25 years of senior management experience to these positions.
Newly appointed Chairman of the Board and current CEO of YTB Marketing, Inc, a unit of YTB International, Scott Tomer (“Coach” Tomer's son ) added, "After working with Bob Van Patten for the past six months, I have total confidence in his leadership and enthusiastically support the Board's decision to name him Chief Executive Officer of YTB International."
Andrew F. Cauthen also resigned as the Chief Operating Officer and President of the Company. Cauthen will retain his position as Secretary of YTB and serve as Chief Operating Officer and President of YTB Marketing, YTB said.
In filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), YTB said Van Patten has an employment agreement with a term of twelve months, beginning October 6, 2009 and expiring October 4, 2010. YTB will pay Van Patten an annual base salary of $300,000.
Van Patten will also be eligible to receive an annual performance bonus equal to 2 percent of YTB’s annual earnings before taxes if the earnings are greater than $500,000 but less than $1.5 million, 2.25 percent if the earnings before taxes are greater than $1.5 million but less than $3.0 million, or 2.5 percent if the earnings before taxes are greater than $3.0 million. YTB also agreed to provide Van Patten with a monthly car allowance of $1,000, and he will be eligible to receive management-level employee benefits. Either party can terminate the agreement at any time without recourse.
Van Patten commented, "On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to sincerely extend my gratitude to Coach for his hard work and dedication to YTB, as a founder and a Director since 2004. Coach had a vision for what this Company could represent to hard-working individuals seeking to achieve financial freedom, and I will work tirelessly to maintain and extend this vision."