On Deck CFO Howard Katzenberg leaves post at short notice

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After about six years in the position
  • Praise, thanks and good wishes for Katzenberg
  • Ken Brause taking over
  • Katzenberg spoke briefly and said 41 words

(exechange) — New York, March 12, 2018 — Howard Katzenberg, finance chief of On Deck, leaves the position — “as part of a mutually agreed upon transition process”. It is a change at short notice. As announced by On Deck Capital, Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Monday, March 12, 2018, Howard Katzenberg leaves his post as Chief Financial Officer at the online small business lending company after about six years in the position, effective March 26, 2018.

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 years, according to data compiled by exechange.

Katzenberg leaves the company effective April 13, 2018.

Katzenberg’s duties will be taken over by Kenneth A. (Ken) Brause, most recently Executive Vice President and Treasurer of CIT Group Inc.

The fact that Katzenberg’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.

“To pursue other opportunities”

Katzenberg’s imminent departure from the CFO post is explained as follows. On Deck said: “Mr. Brause, 53, will succeed Howard Katzenberg, who will be leaving the Company April 13, 2018 to pursue other opportunities.”

The phrase “to pursue other opportunities” opens the door to speculation.

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

Alarm signal

Generally speaking, it is often an alarm signal for stockholders when a CFO leaves the post at short notice and without a reasonable explanation.

“Mutually agreed upon”

On Deck said: “[T]he Company will appoint Kenneth (Ken) A. Brause as its Chief Financial Officer effective March 26, 2018, as part of a mutually agreed upon transition process between the Company and current Chief Financial Officer, Howard Katzenberg.”

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of On Deck Capital, Inc. since April 2015.

Chaired by Noah Breslow

On Deck Capital, Inc. is chaired by Noah Breslow.

Noah Breslow has served as OnDeck’s Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Company’s board of directors since June 2012.

In the position of CFO since 2012

Howard Katzenberg has served as OnDeck’s Chief Financial Officer since June 2012 and has led the Company’s finance department since 2009.

From March 2008 to October 2009, he served in various other financial and strategic roles for the Company.

Prior to joining OnDeck, Katzenberg was a consultant for Swift Financial Corporation, a small business lending firm, from December 2006 to January 2008.

In addition, Katzenberg worked at American Express Company, where he worked in OPEN, its small business division, as well as the company’s venture capital group from 2000 to 2004.

Katzenberg holds a B.S. in Business from Cornell University—Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Katzenberg will serve as an advisor to OnDeck until April 13, 2018, working closely with Brause to facilitate a smooth transition.

Katzenberg will remain Chief Financial Officer until Brause’s appointment becomes effective, after which Katzenberg will serve as an advisor to the Company to facilitate the transition through his departure date.

“On March 8, 2018 the Company and Katzenberg mutually agreed to the transition,” On Deck said.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Howard Katzenberg’s imminent 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 12.2018 ($).