AlphaGraphics has abruptly parted company with chief executive officer Kevin Cushing.
The news come just a fortnight after the franchise network was acquired by Blackstreet Capital.
Cushing had been CEO since 2004. Prior to that, he owned and operated his own AlphaGraphics franchise, after building a successful career in non-print franchise businesses.
His departure was confirmed in a brief announcement to franchise owners, which said: "Effective immediately, Art Coley has been promoted to interim President of AlphaGraphics, Inc. Kevin Cushing is no longer with the company.
"We wanted to make you aware of this announcement as quickly as possible. We are excited about many of the changes and initiatives that we have planned, and will be communicating more details with you soon."
Franchise owners reacted with shock. One told PrintWeek: "I was talking to him last week and there wasn't a hint of this. Whether his face didn't fit or whether he decided he didn't fit, I've no idea. We await further news."
Coley was previously vice president of global development at the group, which has more than 260 centres worldwide.
Former AlphaGraphics chairman Andrew Pindar, whose own MBO bid was rejected in favour of Blackstreet's offer, commented: "Kevin is very capable, very hard working, very committed and straight as they come.
"He felt a duty to the network and helped the franchisees help themselves as he guided the transition of technology in a way that didn't break the struggling stores, but allowed the stronger to adopt new ways quickly and prosper.
"The motivation philosophy and mission of the new owners, by the very nature of what they do, is unlikely to be of a long-term nature," Pindar added.
AlphaGraphics was unavailable for comment at the time of writing, and Cushing was not reachable.