Cardtronics Inc. said Wednesday that Jack M. Antonini, its chief executive, has left the company and its board.

Fred R. Lummis, Cardtronics' chairman, has become the Houston automated teller machine operator's interim CEO until a permanent successor is found, the company said.

"Jack and the board have mutually decided that it would be in the best interests of the company to bring in a new CEO with a fresh perspective on how to capitalize on our many strengths and further develop our strategic direction," Lummis said in a press release. A call to Cardtronics was not returned Wednesday.

Cardtronics has been reporting losses since at least 2007 and its stock plummeted in November after its third-quarter earnings fell short of analysts' estimates and it cut its guidance. It was trading above $5 a share in November; it opened Wednesday at $1.28.

Cardtronics' U.K. operations drove down results in the fourth quarter, when a writedown of goodwill associated with that business led to a $57.9 million loss, compared to a loss of $7 million a year earlier. Its overall revenue rose 2%, to $118.2 million in the fourth quarter.

"Over the last few years, their net revenue has been up, but they've continued to operate at a loss, and the losses … have just gotten worse," Nicole Sturgill, the research director for delivery channels at TowerGroup Inc., an independent research firm owned by MasterCard Inc., said in an interview Wednesday.

She said the discrepancy is indicative of Antonini's management style: He expanded the company by taking risks that brought in more money and made Cardtronics the top nonbank ATM deployer but added large expenses, too.

Though the stock has dropped,, Sturgill said, "I don't know that he's being punished, necessarily, for the stock prices because what company's stock price isn't down right now?"

More likely, she said, he has brought the company to a point where its position is sustainable and new leadership is needed to trim costs.