Thomas W. Swidarski, Diebold's (DBD) chief executive and president, has stepped down, according to a press release.

"We wish to thank Tom for the leadership and integrity he provided during his 17-year career at Diebold — the past seven years as our chief executive.  This was a very difficult decision, and we wish Tom all the best in the next step in his career," said Henry D.G. Wallace, the ATM maker's chairman who will act as the interim chief.

"Progress has been made over the past several years in many areas. However, the board's judgment is that given the company's ongoing performance and pace with which it is delivering tangible value, it is in our stakeholders' best interests to make a change in leadership at this time," Wallace said.

Swidarksi was initially named Diebold's chief in October 2005, succeeding Walden W. O'Dell. At the time, Swidarksi had been with the company for more than a decade.

In addition to acting as Diebold's principal executive, Swidarski had been the company's senior vice president of the financial self-service group and senior vice president for strategic development and global marketing.

Diebold also said that it has promoted George S. Mayes, Jr. to its newly created chief operating officer. He was previously an executive vice president in charge of global operations at the company.

The North Canton, Ohio company plans to announce its end of year results on Feb. 12.