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    Avid Technology ousts CEO, citing improper conduct

    Avid, whose products include the music production program Pro Tools as well as video editing software, has cut ties with CEO Louis Hernandez Jr. for “violations of company policies related to workplace conduct.”
    Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff/File
    Avid, whose products include the music production program Pro Tools as well as video editing software, has cut ties with CEO Louis Hernandez Jr. for “violations of company policies related to workplace conduct.”

    Burlington-based Avid Technology on Monday said that it had ousted chairman and chief executive Louis Hernandez Jr. over allegations of inappropriate behavior in the workplace.

    Avid, whose products help users create and edit movies and music, said it had fired Hernandez for “violations of company policies related to workplace conduct.”

    The publicly traded company did not elaborate on the allegations, but said the conduct was not related to Avid’s finances.

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    The move comes at a time of heightened awareness over workplace behavior, with business figures facing discipline or removal for actions that range from overly demanding treatment of staffers to outright sexual misconduct.

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    In Hernandez’s case, Avid said it hired an outside lawyer to help with an investigation into allegations about his conduct. The board eventually concluded that “the findings warranted immediate termination of Mr. Hernandez’s employment.”

    “The board is committed to the company’s core values and to upholding an environment of the utmost respect and integrity,” said Nancy Hawthorne, who will replace Hernandez as chairman. “We remain confident in the strategy and the long-term business plan of the company.”

    Jeff Rosica, Avid’s president, will take over as chief executive.

    Hernandez, who could not be reached for comment, became chief executive in February of 2013. By then, he had been on Avid’s board for five years . He got the job after his predecessor resigned, and weeks later the company announced it was reckoning with accounting problems that would eventually lead to its stock being temporarily delisted.

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    Despite making a well-known product, Pro Tools, Avid has struggled in a slow-growing industry.

    During Hernandez’s tenure the company’s revenues declined, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. But profits have begun to climb and are expected to jump significantly for the past and current fiscal year.

    Over the past five years, Avid’s stock has fallen by 29 percent, compared with an 86 percent expansion for the S&P 500 index.

    The stock ended the day on Monday at $4.87 per share, up 0.8 percent.

    Avid had in recent years gained some praise for its handling of workplace diversity, a major issue in a technology industry that is overwhelmingly white and male.

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    One survey last year noted at the time that Avid’s eight-member board had four women and two men of color, including Hernandez.

    In a statement, Rosica, the new chief executive, did not address Hernandez’s firing, but he described this as an “important moment in the company’s history.”

    “The outlook for Avid is strong . . . as we execute on our strategic priorities and continue our journey to be a best-in-class company and leader in our industry,” he said.

    Andy Rosen can be reached at andrew.rosen@globe.com.