Bell and Howell LLC, formed in June when Versus Capital acquired the assets of Böwe Bell + Howell, said it is forming an Office of the Chief Executive Officer at its Durham headquarters with the appointment of a new president to split that job and chief executive officer.

George Marton, who held both titles, remains at CEO. The company hired Leslie F. Stern as president, reporting to Martin, it said. The two will form the new office with Chief Operating Officer John Tarascio.

Stern is the former CEO of National Envelope, which another investment group bought out of bankruptcy last year, and of Central Lewmar, a paper manufacturer and wholesaler and distributor of equipment for packaging and shrink wrapping.

Bell and Howell makes equipment and software to manage paper and digital mailing. It has facilities in Durham, Wheeling, Ill., Bethlehem, Pa., and Rochester, N.Y.

“We are very pleased to have attracted an executive of Les Stern’s caliber to lead our global marketing and sales activities and other key aspects of the company’s organization,” Marton said. “Les’s prior successful tenures as CEO of National Envelope and Central Lewmar afford him great familiarity with the production mailing industry and many of Bell and Howell’s customers.”

Marton said the changes will let him focus on critical strategic and customer issues.

“With the Office of the CEO now a reality, we’re now optimizing our management talents, freeing me from the many strictures of day-to-day operations which will be ably handled by John and Les as our senior operating team,” Marton added.

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