Sportsman’s Warehouse CEO John Schaefer leaves abruptly

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After almost nine years in the position
  • Accolades, praise and thanks for Schaefer
  • Jon Barker taking over
  • Schaefer spoke at length and said 164 words

(exechange) — Midvale, Utah, March 14, 2018 — John Schaefer, chief executive of Sportsman’s Warehouse, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Sportsman’s Warehouse Holdings, Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Wednesday, March 14, 2018, John Schaefer has left his post as Chief Executive Officer at the outdoor sporting goods retailer after almost nine years in the position, effective March 13, 2018.

Among the 3,000 largest publicly held companies incorporated in the U.S. based on market capitalization, the average tenure of the CEOs who departed over the past 12 months was 9.2 years, according to data compiled by exechange.

Schaefer’s duties were taken over by Jon Barker, most recently Chief Operating Officer of Sportsman’s Warehouse Holdings, Inc.

“Culmination of several years of transition planning”

Schaefer’s sudden departure from the CEO post is explained as follows. Sportsman’s Warehouse said: “Mr. Schaefer’s retirement represents the culmination of several years of transition planning.”

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

Alarm signal

Generally speaking, it is often a wake-up call for investors when a CEO leaves the position abruptly and without an understandable explanation.


Sportsman’s Warehouse said: “Sportsman’s Warehouse … announced today the retirement of its Chief Executive Officer, John Schaefer.”

Sportsman’s Warehouse further said: “Mr. John Schaefer, the Chief Executive Officer of Sportsman’s Warehouse Holdings, Inc. … notified the Board of Directors … of his retirement as Chief Executive Officer and as a Class III member of the Board, and the Company entered into a retirement agreement with Mr. Schaefer …, all on March 13, 2018. Mr. Schaefer’s retirement is effective immediately.”

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of Sportsman’s Warehouse Holdings, Inc. since March 2016.

Chaired by Christopher Eastland

Sportsman’s Warehouse Holdings, Inc. is chaired by Christopher Eastland.

Christopher Eastland has served as a member of the Company’s Board since August 2009 and as the Chairman since September 2010.

In the position of CEO since 2009

John Schaefer has served as the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer and as a director since August 2009 and served as the Company’s Secretary from August 2009 until December 2013.

Before joining the Company, Schaefer served as the Chief Executive Officer of Team Express, an internet, catalog and retail marketer of sporting goods from December 2008 through August 2009.

From August 2007 to December 2008, Schaefer was with Pierre Foods, a manufacturer, marketer and distributor of pre-cooked and ready-to-cook meals, including as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Restructuring Officer from July 2008 to December 2008.

From April 2007 to August 2007, Schaefer was Managing Director of Lightning Management, LLC, an executive management services firm.

From February 1998 to April 2007, Schaefer held various positions, including that of President and Chief Executive Officer (April 2005 to April 2007), President, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Director (July 2004 to April 2005), and Chief Financial Officer (April 2001 to July 2004), with Cornerstone Brands, Inc., a family of catalog companies for the home, leisure and casual apparel, including Ballard Designs, Frontgate, Garnet Hill, Improvements, Smith+Noble, The Territory Ahead and TravelSmith.

From August 1992 to February 1998, Schaefer served as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Eastbay, Inc., a direct marketer of footwear, apparel, equipment and licensed and private label products. From September 2007 until January 2009, Schaefer was a director and member of the Audit Committee of The Parent Company, a commerce (toys, baby products and electronics), content and new media company controlled by D. E. Shaw Laminar Portfolios, L.L.C. that ceased operations in 2009.

From February 2008 to July 2010, Schaefer was a director and member of the Audit Committee and the Nominating/Governance Committee of Kid Brands, Inc., a company that designs and markets branded infant and juvenile products in a number of categories. Schaefer received a BBA in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin and was formerly a certified public accountant.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered John Schaefer’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 12.2018 ($).