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Airport Security Firm Replaces CEO

November 9, 2001

ATLANTA (AP) _ The parent company of Argenbright Security Inc., the troubled airport security screening firm that has become symbolic of the industry’s many woes, said Friday it has replaced founder and chief executive Frank Argenbright Jr. as it seeks to regain the trust of passengers and airlines.

David Beaton, an executive with Argenbright parent Securicor, which bought the Atlanta-based company in January, was named chief executive.

Argenbright, which has 40 percent of the domestic airport screener market, said it had raised starting hourly salaries by $2, to $8 to $10 per hour.

In addition, the company said in a statement it will ask authorities to allow it not to hire anyone convicted of a felony, which goes further than the current Federal Aviation Administration regulations that exclude only those convicted in the last 10 years for any of two-dozen specified crimes.

``My clear intention is to substantially reshape and restructure the company,″ Beaton said in a statement from Argenbright. The reforms are designed ``to ensure that Argenbright meets and exceeds the public’s and (Bush) Administration’s heightened security expectations.″

The company said its training procedures will be patterned after standards Securicor uses in European airports, which are widely considered more secure than their U.S. counterparts.

Bill Barbour remains the company’s president and chief operating officer.

Argenbright has 7,000 employees.

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