Mercury CFO Gerald Haines leaves abruptly

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After less than three and a half years in the position
  • Praise and good wishes for Haines
  • Mike Ruppert taking over

(exechange) — Andover, Massachusetts, February 5, 2018 — Gerald Haines, finance chief of Mercury, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Mercury Systems, Inc. in a news release on Monday, February 5, 2018, Gerald M. Haines leaves his post as Chief Financial Officer at the defense contractor after less than three and a half years in the position, effective immediately.

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.

Haines’s duties will be taken over by Mike Ruppert, most recently Executive Vice President, Strategy & Corporate Development at Mercury Systems, Inc.

No reason given

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

Precise information about Haines’s future plans was not immediately available.

Wake-up call

Generally speaking, it is often an alarm signal for stockholders when a CFO leaves the post abruptly and without an understandable explanation.

“Succeeds”

Mercury said: “Mr. Ruppert succeeds Gerald D. [sic] Haines, who assumed the role of Mercury’s Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer in 2014 after having joined the company in 2010 as head of Corporate Development.”

“This change did not arise from any issues”

Mark Aslett, Mercury’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “This change did not arise from any issues involving the Company’s business practices, internal controls, financial reporting procedures or financial results, which are meeting our expectations. We remain confident in our recent guidance for Mercury’s fiscal 2018 third quarter and year.”

It is a phrase that may be intended to prevent false rumors. It may also fuel further speculation and raise more questions than it answers. Such a phrase should be read very carefully. The exact wording may be insightful.

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of Mercury Systems, Inc. since December 2017.

Chaired by Vincent Vitto

Mercury Systems, Inc. is chaired by Vincent Vitto.

Effective as of January 5, 2010, Vitto was elected Chairman of Mercury’s Board of Directors.

CEO: Mark Aslett

Mark Aslett serves as CEO of Mercury Systems, Inc. Mark Aslett has been the President and Chief Executive Officer at Mercury Systems, Inc. since November 19, 2007.

In the position of CFO since 2014

Gerald M. Haines has been the Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice President and Treasurer of Mercury Systems, Inc. since September 3, 2014.

He has extensive experience in corporate finance, strategic planning and execution, investor relations, and mergers and acquisitions, and has held senior executive positions in publicly traded companies spanning industries from technology and telecommunications to alternative energy and manufacturing.

He also oversaw Mercury’s security program and various compliance and risk management functions.

Haines joined Mercury in 2010 as Senior Vice President of Corporate Development, becoming CFO in 2014.

Prior to Mercury, he served as Executive Vice President at Verenium Corporation, a publicly traded company engaged in the development and commercialization of biofuels and high-performance specialty enzymes, where he played a key role in various corporate development, corporate finance and joint venturing activities.

Previously, Haines served as Executive Vice President of Strategic Affairs of Enterasys Networks, Inc., a publicly traded network communications company, Senior Vice President of Cabletron Systems, Inc., the predecessor of Enterasys Networks, and Vice President of Applied Extrusion Technologies, a large manufacturer of plastic films and packaging.

He began his career at J.P. Morgan.

Haines holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, magna cum laude, from Boston University, and a law degree from Cornell Law School.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Gerald Haines’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 7.2018 ($).