GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. (AP) — Technology consultant Ciber Inc. said Monday its CEO retired and was replaced on an interim basis by the chief financial officer, and the company chairman also stepped down.

The shares fell 18 cents, or 4.3 percent, to $3.97 in morning trading.

Mac J. Slingerlend had been CEO for 12 years and was also president and a director.

Chief Financial Officer Peter H. Cheesbrough was named interim president and CEO. He joined the company as a director in 2002 and because CEO and executive vice president in 2007.

The company said it hired search firm Heidrick & Struggles to find a permanent successor.

Ciber founder Bobby G. Stevenson stepped down as chairman but will remain on the board. Director Paul A. Jacobs was named non-executive chairman.

Ciber has struggled during the economic slowdown, as companies reduced their technology spending. Last year, its profit fell nearly by half, to $15 million from $26.9 million in 2008, and sales dropped 13 percent to $1.04 billion.

On Monday, the company affirmed its Feb. 22 forecast of first-quarter earnings of 5 cents to 6 cents per share and revenue between $252.5 million and $257.5 million.

In a statement, Jacobs said that evidence of increasing technology spending made this a good time "to bring in new leadership that will bring a collaborative, innovation-oriented management style and strategy." He said Slingerlend and Stevenson helped build Ciber over several decades from a $20 million company to $1 billion in annual sales.

Ciber said Slingerlend was named president emeritus and agreed to be available as a consultant during the leadership change. Stevenson will lecture at the business school at Texas Tech University.

Ciber helps companies and government agencies with technology needs. The Greenwood Village company was founded in 1974 and has more than 8,000 employees in 18 countries. Like some of its rivals, it is expanding in India.