CFO

Benefitfocus has hired a new chief financial officer. File/Staff/Brad Nettles

One of the Charleston area's largest technology employers has found a new chief financial officer, marking Benefitfocus Inc.'s third hire for that critical role since 2016.

The company said Stephen Swad will replace Jonathon Dussault, who announced in May he would be leaving the post by Aug. 31.

Swad, a former CEO and president of the language-learning software firm Rosetta Stone Inc., had been on the Benefitfocus board since late 2013, shortly after the Daniel Island company's initial public offering.

He will resign as a director when he starts his new role as finance chief on July 22, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The 57-year-old executive had been CFO of Vox Media, an online news outlet and advertiser, from 2016 until this month.

“Steve is right for this role in so many ways, from his well-established understanding of our business, serving as a board member since our IPO six years ago, to the depth of his public company financial expertise, serving other leading technology brands and public sector entities," Benefitfocus CEO Ray August said in a statement Wednesday.

Swad is the workplace-benefits software company's third finance chief since the 2016 retirement of longtime CFO Milt Alpern.

Industry analysts have noticed the turnover. Wedbush, a financial services firm, cited a "revolving door CFO situation" at the company in a report in May.

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A federal filing stated Dussault's resignation was "not related to any disagreement with the company on any matter relating to the company’s operations, policies or practices, but rather is due to personal reasons."

Benefitfocus' stock price fell by double digits the day Dussault announced he was stepping down.

Shares rose Thursday morning, after Swad's hiring was announced. They closed at $26.17, up six cents.

In addition to his previous senior management roles at Rosetta Stone and Vox Media, Swad has experience at AOL-Time Warner. He also was an accountant for the Securities and Exchange Commission. He has about 35 years of experience in "executive and finance leadership" positions, Benefitfocus said.

Swad will be paid a base annual salary of $425,000 and receive a one-time payment of $325,000. He also will be eligible for performance-based bonuses and stock awards.

Reach Mary Katherine Wildeman at 843-937-5594. Follow her on Twitter @mkwildeman.