H&R Block's Thomas Bloch to Quit Board Over Split With Breeden

H&R Block Inc. director Thomas Bloch, a member of the family that built the biggest U.S. tax preparer, said he won’t seek re-election because of disagreements with Chairman Richard Breeden and “the intense pressure from short-term oriented shareholders.”

Bloch said in a letter to the board filed with regulators today that he opposed a 2008 stock buyback as “ill-timed,” that the 2010 fiscal plan was “overly optimistic” and that the company missed its earnings guidance. He cited “fundamental” disagreements with Breeden, a hedge-fund manager, and said the company was “overly generous” with compensation for Chief Executive Officer Alan Bennett.

“My father Henry Bloch, who will turn 88 this month, has witnessed the company suffer a number of setbacks that could have likely been avoided or minimized,” the letter said.

H&R Block dropped 23 cents to $14.38 in 9:48 a.m. New York Stock Exchange composite trading.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rick Green in New York at rgreen18@bloomberg.net

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