United Rentals dismisses CFO, seeks additional time for SEC filings

United Rentals announced Aug. 16 it has terminated the employment of John Milne, the company’s president and chief financial officer, because he was unwilling to respond to questions relating to a Securities and Exchange Commission inquiry.

The company said in a press release it is searching for a new CFO.

United Rentals’ board of directors announced July 14 it had determined Milne failed to perform his duties and could be terminated if the failure was not remedied. At that time, Milne informed the committee of the board looking into the SEC inquiry he was not currently willing to respond to its questions. The board notified Milne he would have the 30-day cure period provided by his employment agreement.

In August of last year United Rentals announced the SEC was conducting a non-public, fact-finding inquiry of the company. The SEC notice stated the inquiry does not mean it has concluded the company broke the law.

The equipment rental firm announced Aug. 22 it is seeking additional time to make certain SEC filings. The company has delayed filing its Form 10-K for 2004 and Forms 10-Q for 2005 quarters. United Rentals is soliciting consent from certain securities holders to amend the indentures that require the timely filing of required reports with the SEC. The amendments would give the company until March 31, 2006 to regain compliance.