Power to the ‘zees, says new Liberty Tax CEO
Nicole Ossenfort takes over at Liberty Tax at a tumultuous time.
Nicole Ossenfort had been CEO and president of Liberty Tax for just two-and-a-half weeks when reached in early March, but she was already putting her focus squarely on franchisees. “I believe that happy, successful franchisees and employees are the basis and essential for the success of this company. They are the reason we exist, and we have to start making decisions and strategies that support that core belief,” said Ossenfort, the third CEO in six months at Liberty Tax. “In fact, we believe that so much, we changed our mission statement: creating happy, successful franchisees and employees.” Liberty’s board fired founder John Hewitt as CEO in September, but he remains chairman, holds all the Class B shares and can appoint a majority of the board, including Ossenfort, who upon being named CEO resigned her board seat. Edward Brunot was promoted from within to replace Hewitt, but Brunot was fired in February, when Ossenfort got the chief executive’s chair. “One of the reasons the board of directors made the change and brought me in is we didn’t feel the company was going in the right direction,” she said. Now it’s her job to right the ship.