Los Angeles Business Journal

Former Dissident Shareholder Becomes Qualstar's Interim CEO

By Business Journal Staff Monday, July 15, 2013

Steven Bronson, the investor who took control of Qualstar Corp. after a proxy fight, has been named its interim chief executive and president, the company announced Monday.

Bronson, a member of Qualstar’s board, was appointed to replace Larry Firestone, who became chief executive of the Simi Valley data tape storage and power supply manufacturer in June 2012.

Bronson immediately closed a Qualstar office that Firestone opened in Denver and is terminating the executives working there. The move will result in a savings of about $1 million, according to the company.

In June, Bronson and four other candidates were elected to the Qualstar board after longstanding complaints that the money-losing company was underperforming. Bronson and BKF Capital Group Inc., his Boca Raton, Fla.-based investment firm, are the second largest investors in the company, with an 18 percent stake.

For there to be a successful turnaround of the company, Bronson said expenses need to be controlled and reduced.

“The board (of directors) will continue to take the appropriate actions to right-size Qualstar, support its current and future business, build a solid foundation and preserve its liquidity base,” Bronson said, in a prepared statement.

Bronson also is chief executive of Interlink Electronics Inc., a Camarillo manufacturer of touch pads and mouses for computers and other electronic equipment used in industrial and consumer applications.

Shares closed up 1 cent, or a fraction of percent, to $1.41 on the Nasdaq.