Swisher’s former CEO leaving board of directors

The former chief executive officer of Charlotte-based Swisher Hygiene has said he will leave the board of directors as well after his term expires.

Steve Berrard led Swisher through a period of rapid growth, acquiring dozens of smaller cleaning companies and attempting to meld them into a major national cleaning and chemical supply company. But after accounting problems led to a slew of shareholder lawsuits and the need to restate many of the company’s financial reports, Swisher’s stock cratered and the company posted larger quarterly losses.

Berrard stepped down as CEO in 2012, but retained his seat on the board of directors. The company reached a $5.5 million settlement agreement last month with shareholders who said Swisher inflated its stock price with misleading financial results.

“I appreciate the opportunity to have served Swisher and its stockholders over the past ten years as a director, and previously as president and chief executive officer,” said Berrard, in a statement. “I wish the entire Swisher team all the best in their continued efforts and will support Swisher as one of its largest stockholders.”

Berrard remains the company’s largest individual shareholder, with 14.3 percent of shares outstanding, according to Bloomberg data. The company’s stock was up a penny, to 47 cents a share, in early trading Thursday.