Fred’s CFO Jason Jenne leaves post abruptly

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After about half a year in the position
  • Thanks and good wishes for Jenne
  • Joe Anto taking over

(exechange) — Memphis, Tennessee, February 1, 2018 — Jason Jenne, finance chief of Fred’s, leaves the position. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Fred’s Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Thursday, February 1, 2018, Jason A. Jenne leaves his post as Chief Financial Officer at the department store company after about half a year in the position, effective immediately.

No company wants a CFO to flame out in the first year.

Among the 3,000 largest publicly held companies incorporated in the U.S. based on market capitalization, the average tenure of the CFOs who departed over the past 12 months was 6.1 years, according to data compiled by exechange. Only 5 percent of the CFOs who departed over the past 12 months left the position within their first year. Around 19 percent left the position within two years, and 35 percent left the position within three years.

Jenne’s move comes 17 months after Michael K. Bloom took over as CEO of Fred’s Inc.

Furthermore, Jenne’s move comes five months after Heath Freeman took over as Chairman of Fred’s Inc.

Jenne leaves the company effective February 26, 2018.

Jenne’s duties will be taken over by Joe Anto, most recently Senior Vice President of Strategy and M&A at MediaNews Group, Inc. (d/b/a Digital First Media).

The fact that Jenne’s successor is brought in from outside suggests that the board may seek to stimulate change with fresh ideas and new initiatives.

In general, an outsider does not have the constraints of an insider when it comes to leading painful changes or making unpopular decisions.

No reason given

In the announcement, Fred’s did not explicitly explain the obviously compelling reason for Jenne’s sudden move, opening the door for speculation.


Fred’s said: “Mr. Anto succeeds Jason Jenne, who is leaving the Company.”

Fred’s further said: “On January 26, 2018, Jason A. Jenne notified Fred’s, Inc. … of his intent to resign as the Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Secretary.”

Jenne will be CFO at True Temper Sports

True Temper Sports announced the hiring of Jason Jenne as Chief Financial Officer.

True Temper Sports  announced the move on Thursday, February 1, 2018.

True Temper Sports  is a sports equipment manufacturing company.

Share price decline

The change follows a sharp decline in the share price of Fred’s Inc. since December 2016.

Chaired by Heath Freeman

Fred’s Inc. is chaired by Heath Freeman.

On September 5, 2017, Heath B. Freeman was elected to the office of Chairman of the Board, effective immediately.

CEO: Michael K. Bloom

Michael K. Bloom serves as CEO of Fred’s Inc. Michael K. R. Bloom has been the Chief Executive Officer of Fred’s, Inc. since August 29, 2016 and as its President since January 12, 2015.

In the position of CFO since 2017

On July 19, 2017, Jason A. Jenne was appointed as the Company’s Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Secretary.

Jenne has served as the Company’s Senior Vice President, Finance since September 2016.

From 1998 to 2016, Jenne held positions of increasing responsibility at True Temper Sports, a sports equipment manufacturer, including Corporate Controller, Vice President of Finance, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and President and Chief Executive Officer.

From 1994 to 1998, Jenne served as a Senior Internal Auditor, Manager of Financial Planning, Plant Controller and Division Controller at Emerson Electric, a publicly traded technology and engineering company.

From 1993 to 1994, Jenne served as a staff auditor at Scheffel Boyle, a regional public accounting firm.

Jenne holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Finance from Southern Illinois University and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Jenne will remain in an advisory capacity until February 26, 2018, and will continue to work closely with Anto to ensure a smooth transition.

At the time of Jenne’s appointment as Chief Financial Officer at Fred’s, Michael K. Bloom, Chief Executive Officer, had said: “Jason’s leadership experience and in-depth knowledge of finance and operations ideally qualify him to be the next Chief Financial Officer of Fred’s Pharmacy. Jason is an integral member of our leadership team and over the past year he and I have worked closely together as we navigated the proposed Rite Aid transaction, implemented a new healthcare strategy and pursued additional growth opportunities for Fred’s Pharmacy. As we execute our plan, Jason’s strategic insight and financial expertise will be invaluable in our ongoing efforts to improve performance and create shareholder value.”

At the time of his appointment as Chief Financial Officer at Fred’s, Jenne had said: “I am excited to have the opportunity to lead Fred’s Pharmacy’s financial team at this important stage in the Company’s transformation. Fred’s is a company with significant growth potential and a strong team in place to drive shareholder value. I look forward to continuing to work closely with Mike and the rest of the senior leadership to accelerate the execution of the Company’s business plan.”

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Jason Jenne’s sudden move.

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange suggests that push-out forces may have contributed to the change.

Read the full story in the exechange report 6.2018 ($).