Taurus announces new CEO, allegedly fired its former after company acquisition

Mark Kresser

Mark Kresser inside a Taurus facility in Miami.

Taurus Holdings, Inc. announced a replacement for its president and CEO, Mark Kresser, who has led the company since September 2011, following a partial acquisition of its parent company in Brazil.

Unconfirmed reports by Gun Nuts Media say Kresser was abruptly fired from his position for reasons unknown.

Under the Taurus Holdings’ umbrella falls Taurus, Rossi, Heritage and Diamondback Firearms, but Taurus Holding is a subsidiary of Forjas Taurus.

Forjas Taurus, a public company listed in Brazilian markets, reported $124 million in net revenue from weapons sales, mainly in the U.S., for the first quarter of 2014. That’s a profit of $30.2 million. However, in the fourth quarter of 2013, it also reported having a net debt of $538.1 million.

On July 14, fellow Brazilian company Companhia Brasileira de Cartuchos, or CBC, known for owning ammunition maker Magtech, bought 36.7 million shares of Forjas Taurus, putting its total shares owned at 43.6 million, or 49.75 percent of the company. Lately, the stock price is often listed around 60 cents on the San Paolo stock exchange, historic lows for the 75-year-old company.

Some in the gun industry surmise that the apparent change in ownership had a direct effect on U.S. manufacturer’s leadership.

Guns.com made multiple attempts to contact Taurus’s spokesman, but has yet to receive a response. We’ve also made attempts to reach Kresser, but had no luck getting in touch with him.

Kresser led the charge at Taurus to tighten quality control. He essentially took the Dominoes Pizza route of marketing by taking accountability for past discrepancies and an ever expanding catalog, and redirected manufacturing efforts to focus on improving select products.

Taurus, located in Miami, announced Anthony Acitelli as its new president and CEO.

Acitelli left Colt’s Manufacturing, where he spent the last year as senior vice president of sales, to continue his 20-plus year career in the gun industry with Taurus.

“We look forward to seeing Anthony’s direction as we continue to develop closer relationships with our distributors, retailers and consumers alike,” said Andre Balbi, president and CEO of Forjas Taurus.