The president and CEO of Snap-on resigned suddenly yesterday. The company announced the resignation of its chairman, president and CEO Dale Elliott, effective immediately. The company’s board of directors has elected Jack Michaels, recently retired chairman and CEO of HNI Corp., to fill the position. Michaels has been a Snap-on director since 1998. When asked, the company declined to provide a specific reason for Elliot’s resignation, however, Richard Secor, a spokesperson for Snap-on, said the resignation was not due to a change in strategy, but rather about stepping up the pace of growth. Elliot was with Snap-on for nine years. During Michaels’ 14-year tenure as CEO of HNI Corp., the company experienced dramatic growth, more than tripling revenues while increasing profits by more than four times and earnings per share by more than five times. He achieved this performance during challenging economic conditions and in an intensely competitive marketplace. HNI Corp., formerly HON Industries, is a leading manufacturer of office furniture and hearth products based in Iowa. “I’m very pleased to accept this position at Snap-on, well known for its quality and innovation,” said Michaels. “Snap-on is an outstanding company with a great brand, a strong customer base, quality management team, a motivated dealer organization and dedicated employees. I look forward to leveraging these strengths and accelerating the pace of change in order to drive profitable growth and take Snap-on to the next level.” Michaels cited as his near-term priorities the need to work with the organization to improve operating efficiencies, respond to customer needs and market changes more quickly and to correct performance issues in its commercial and industrial businesses. The company also said it expects to meet its previously announced outlook of full-year 2004 reported earnings to be in the range of $1.35 to $1.45 per diluted share, excluding severance costs to Elliott of approximately 4 cents per share. Figures in U.S. dollars.