Commerce Bancshares CEO David Kemper hands over to John Kemper

  • After around 32 years in the position
  • Accolades and praise for David Kemper
  • David Kemper will remain as executive chairman at Commerce Bancshares
  • David Kemper said 46 words

(exechange) — St. Louis, Missouri, April 3, 2018 — David Kemper, chief executive of Commerce Bancshares, hands over the reins. As announced by Commerce Bancshares, Inc. in a news release published on Monday, April 2, 2018 and in a regulatory filing published on Tuesday, April 3, 2018, David W. David Kemper leaves his post as Chief Executive Officer at the regional bank holding company after around 32 years in the position, effective August 1, 2018.

It is the end of an era.

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 9.5 years, according to data compiled by exechange. Only 3 percent of the CEOs who departed over the past 12 months left the position after more than 30 years.

David Kemper’s duties will be taken over by John W. Kemper, currently Chief Operating Officer of Commerce Bancshares, Inc.

It is a generational change as well. John Kemper is about 27 years younger than David Kemper.

“Culmination of a thoughtful and deliberate multi-year succession plan”

David Kemper’s departure from the CEO post is explained as follows. Andy Taylor, executive chairman of Enterprise Holdings, Inc. and Commerce Bancshares board member and lead director, said: “This announcement reflects the culmination of a thoughtful and deliberate multi-year succession plan overseen by our board of directors. John Kemper is clearly the right person to step into this role. This plan will ensure continuity and create the foundation for continued growth and long-term shareholder returns.”

David Kemper will remain as executive chairman at Commerce Bancshares

Effective August 1, 2018, John W. Kemper, currently president and chief operating officer of Commerce Bancshares, Inc., will become president and CEO, assuming the CEO role currently held by his father David W. Kemper, who will remain active as executive chairman.

“Resign”

Commerce Bancshares said: “On April 2, 2018, David W. Kemper announced his intention to resign his position as Chief Executive Officer … of Commerce Bancshares, Inc. …, effective August 1, 2018.”

Share price rise since March 2009

The change follows a rise in the share price of Commerce Bancshares, Inc. since March 2009.

In the position of CEO since 1986

David W. Kemper has been the Chief Executive Officer of Commerce Bancshares, Inc. since June 1986 and Chairman of the Board since November 1991.

David W. Kemper is Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of the holding company, Commerce Bancshares, Inc.; and Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Commerce Bank.

He joined Commerce Bank in 1978 as Vice President in charge of Commercial Lending and in 1991 was elected to his current position.

Kemper heads the Executive Committee of Commerce Bancshares, Inc.

A 1972 graduate of Harvard University, Kemper received a Master of Arts in English Literature from Worcester College, Oxford University in 1974 and a MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1976.

He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Kemper is a director of Post Holdings, Inc., Tower Properties Company, and serves as an advisory director for Enterprise Holdings. Kemper serves as Vice Chairman of the board of trustees of Washington University in St. Louis.

He is also on the board of trustees of the Missouri Botanical Garden and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center.

In his role as executive chairman, David Kemper, who has been with the bank since 1978 and became CEO in 1988, will continue to work full-time with the Commerce Bancshares board and executive management on issues involving strategy, customer relationships, industry engagement and civic leadership.

Read the full story in the exechange report 15.2018 ($).