Mendes steps down from Diamond Foods board

by Eric Schroeder
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SAN FRANCISCO — Michael J. Mendes, formerly chief executive officer, and Steven M. Neil, formerly chief financial officer, have resigned from the board of directors of Diamond Foods, Inc., effective March 7.

Mr. Mendes and Mr. Neil were placed on administrative leave on Feb. 8. Also at that time, the audit committee of Diamond Foods board of directors concluded that a “continuity” payment made to growers in August 2010 of approximately $20 million and a “momentum” payment made to growers in September 2011 of approximately $60 million were not accounted for in the correct periods. Additionally, the audit committee said it identified material weaknesses in the company’s internal control over financial reporting. As a result, the committee said Diamond will need to restate its financials for fiscal 2010 and 2011.

Nigel Rees, a senior financial executive with McKesson Corp., and Alison Davis, an executive with decades of global financial and operating expertise, have been named to the board’s audit committee.

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