Stock Watch: Falls as Chairman Steps Down (Nasdaq: STMP) slipped 7/32 to 2 23/32 Thursday after the online postage company said its chairman and chief executive officer has stepped down.

John Payne joins the parade of executives exiting the company this week. Former U.S. Postmaster General Marvin Runyon will serve as chairman, while the company searches for a permanent replacement. Payne has been with the company since May 1998. He will remain on the company’s board and serve as an adviser, said.

“ is well positioned to continue its leadership role in the mailing and shipping market,” said Runyon. “We are confident of the viability of our long-term business model, and are extremely focused on achieving our goals serving small, large and e-commerce companies.”

With $300 million in cash on hand, the company has the resources to “remain the category leader,” Runyon said. Seventy percent of Internet postage users are customers, he said.

Payne’s departure follows the resignations earlier this week of Loren Smith as president and chief operating officer, John LaValle as chief financial officer, and Candelario Andalon as comptroller. The company also announced that Tom Bruggere has stepped down from his position as a director of the company.

The company said it will look for a new CEO and chief financial officer, and will also explore other strategic alternatives. shares, which traded as high as 98 1/2 last November, are now near a 52-week low. According to the company, its business is “anchored in key relationships” with the U.S. Postal Service and United Parcel Service (UPS) and other carriers, including FedEx, Airborne Express, DHL and Yellow Freight.

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