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Gleacher Fires Chief Executive Thomas Hughes, COO John Griff

Gleacher & Co. fired Chief Executive Officer Thomas J. Hughes and Chief Operating Officer John Griff a day after the struggling brokerage’s biggest shareholder took control of the board.

The terminations are immediate, New York-based Gleacher said today in a regulatory filing. MatlinPatterson Global Advisors LLC, a private-equity firm holding a 29 percent stake, elected its own slate of directors at Gleacher's annual meeting yesterday following a feud with Hughes over future strategy.

Gleacher has cut staff after failing to sell itself amid losses that totaled $198.4 million since 2009. The firm said last month it will shut the fixed-income business that generated most of its revenue. Earlier this month, the company reported a wider first-quarter loss and said its prospects are “highly uncertain.”

Hughes, Griff and MatlinPatterson officials didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Hughes previously said he’s serving the best interests of employees and shareholders and that he had the previous board’s support.

MatlinPatterson said May 2 that Gleacher should fire the two executives because of the brokerage’s “disappointing results.” Gleacher should should wind down, pursue a merger or sale or reinvest assets in a more promising venture, MatlinPatterson said.

Clinton Group Inc., a New York-based investment firm that’s part of a coalition of activist stakeholders, said in a regulatory filing last month that Gleacher should seek a “rapid rebirth” as an asset manager.

Hughes was named CEO of Gleacher in May 2011, according to the firm’s website. He previously was a special adviser to the board of directors of LNR Property LLC, a commercial real estate finance company. Griff, who become COO in July 2011, was previously strategic adviser to the CEO of LNR Property Corp., according to the website.

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