ArrowStream’s CEO remains in critical condition after downtown office shooting
BY MITCH DUDEK Staff Reporter August 6, 2014 4:22PM
Steven and Jody LaVoie in 2002. | Al Podgorski/Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 6, 2014 7:37PM
As Steven LaVoie remained in critical condition after a recently-demoted employee shot him in the head last week — it was announced Wednesday that the incapacitated CEO’s wife, Jody, will temporarily fill his shoes at the technology company he founded.
“We are fortunate that she can step in to maintain Steven’s vision for the company,” read a statement posted to ArrowStream’s website Wednesday.
“Jody will act in this capacity until ArrowStream names an Interim CEO to take over duties during Steven’s recovery. This selection process is already underway.”
ArrowStream sells supply-chain management technology to large restaurants like Wendy’s and Applebee’s.
Steven LaVoie, 54, was in critical condition Wednesday at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
Tony DeFrances, 59, an employee LaVoie hired 14 years ago — shortly after founding the company — shot LaVoie in the head and stomach Thursday at the company’s office on the 17th floor of the Bank of America building, 231 S. LaSalle St.
DeFrances, the company’s chief technology officer, was upset he had been demoted several days earlier, police said. After shooting LaVoie, DeFrances killed himself.
The update on ArrowStream’s website emphasized that their client services were uninterrupted by the tragedy. It also debunked a statement Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy made shortly after the shooting, in which he said DeFrances’ demotion was due to downsizing at the company.
“We have not been reducing our workforce or downsizing in any way,” the update said.
“If you were to walk through our office this week, you would see an ArrowStream family coming together, supporting one another, but also, remarkably, you would see a team even more energized to continue the work that Steven and Jody started,” the update added.
An ArrowStream spokeswoman said Jody LaVoie “has been a trusted and valued advisor to her husband.”
The LaVoie family has been touched by an outpouring of support, according to a family spokeswoman who has been posting online updates.
Jody LaVoie and her three daughters biked around their neighborhood in La Grange on Monday. Their route took them past a series of red ribbons that went up after the shooting to offer support for the LaVoie family.
“Jody is finding beauty in the small things and enjoyed barbecuing hamburgers with the girls last night,” according to the family spokeswoman.