Deluxe CEO Lee Schram leaves

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After 12 years in the position
  • Praise and thanks for Schram
  • Search for a successor
  • Schram spoke at length and said 126 words

(exechange) — St. Paul, Minnesota, April 26, 2018 — Lee Schram, chief executive of Deluxe, leaves. As announced by Deluxe Corporation in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Thursday, April 26, 2018, Lee Schram leaves his post as Chief Executive Officer at the check printer after 12 years in the position.

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 9.7 years, according to data compiled by exechange. Only 38 percent of the CEOs who departed over the past 12 months left the position after more than 10 years.

He will continue to serve as Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors until the Company’s appointment of a successor Chief Executive Officer.

Schram has agreed to serve in his current role during the succession process and will be available to assist in a smooth transition.

Deluxe will undertake a search for a successor.

“I can begin to explore new interests and opportunities”

Schram’s departure from the CEO post is explained as follows. Schram said: “With $2 billion in expected record revenues for 2018 and strong strategic and financial momentum, I can begin to explore new interests and opportunities knowing that we have laid the foundation for continued transformational growth and success.”

The phrase “I can begin to explore new interests and opportunities” opens the door to speculation.

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


Deluxe said: “Lee Schram will retire as Chief Executive Officer of the Company.”

Share price rise since February 2016

The change follows a rise in the share price of Deluxe Corporation since February 2016.

Chaired by Martyn R. Redgrave

Deluxe Corporation is chaired by Martyn R. Redgrave.

In August 2012, Redgrave became the non-executive chairman of the board for Deluxe.

In the position of CEO since 2006

Lee Schram was named CEO of Deluxe in April 2006.

Since then, he has led a transformation initiative to significantly reposition Deluxe from primarily a check printer to a marketing solutions and other services provider.

Under his leadership, Deluxe has increased digital services, grown e-commerce, expanded the channels that sell Deluxe products and services, and acquired many companies that serve the online marketing needs of small businesses and financial institutions.

Schram began his professional career with NCR Corporation in 1983 where he held a variety of positions with increasing responsibility that included both domestic and international assignments.

He served as corporate controller, chief financial officer for the 80% of NCR’s businesses, and then general manager of the Payment & Imaging Solutions segment.

His last position prior to joining Deluxe was senior vice president of the Retail Solutions segment where he was instrumental in transforming this technology business which was the heritage of the company.

Schram holds a bachelor’s in accounting and finance from Miami (Ohio) University and a master’s in business administration from the University of Dayton.


As a general rule, when a top leader announces to step aside with no successor in place, it’s a signal that the change was unexpected and too early.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Lee Schram’s 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 18.2018 ($).