Newell Brands CFO Ralph Nicoletti leaves

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After about two and a half years in the position
  • Praise and thanks for Nicoletti
  • Search for a successor

(exechange) — Hoboken, New Jersey, June 1, 2018 — Ralph Nicoletti, finance chief of Newell Brands, leaves. As announced by Newell Brands Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Friday, June 1, 2018, Ralph Nicoletti, Chief Financial Officer, leaves the umbrella firm for an array of consumer brands such as Sharpie and Yankee Candle after about two and a half years in the role, effective December 31, 2018.

No company wants a CFO to flame out in the first years.

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 6.8 years, according to data compiled by exechange. Only 30 percent of the CFOs who departed over the past 12 months left the position within three years.

Newell Brands will undertake a search for a successor.

No reason given

In the announcement, Newell Brands did not explicitly explain the reason for Nicoletti’s move, leaving room for speculation.

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


Newell Brands said: “Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Ralph Nicoletti will retire at the close of 2018.”

Newell Brands further said: “Ralph Nicoletti, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, will be retiring from the Company, effective December 31, 2018.”

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of Newell Brands Inc. since June 2017.

Chaired by Patrick D. Campbell

Newell Brands Inc. is chaired by Patrick D. Campbell.

Patrick D. Campbell is the retired senior vice president and chief financial officer of 3M Company.

CEO: Michael B. Polk

Michael B. Polk serves as CEO of Newell Brands Inc. Michael B. Polk has been Chief Executive Officer and President of Newell Brands Inc. since July 18, 2011 and May 25, 2018 respectively.

In the position of CFO since 2016

Ralph J. Nicoletti has been the Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Newell Brands Inc. since June 8, 2016.

He has more than 35 years of finance experience, and is a seasoned executive having held CFO roles at three global companies.

His career includes 27 years of diverse experience at Kraft Foods Inc. and as EVP-CFO of Tiffany, Cigna and Alberto Culver.

Prior to joining Newell Brands, as EVP-CFO, Nicoletti led a variety of initiatives across the consumer products, healthcare and insurance, and luxury retail industries, including improvement of business operating performance, M&A strategy and integration, capital structure optimization, IT transformation and organization development.

Nicoletti serves on the Board of Directors of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., one of the world’s largest insurance brokerage and risk management services firms.

He grew up in Rockland County, New York, and graduated from Pace University in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree.

He went on to earn his MBA with honors in 1982.

At the time of Nicoletti’s appointment as Chief Financial Officer at Newell Brands, Newell Brands Chief Executive Officer Michael Polk had said: “I am very pleased to welcome Ralph to the Newell Brands executive team. Ralph brings over thirty years of finance experience to the company and has a very strong track record leading financial functions and executing growth strategies at a number of successful publicly-traded, global companies. Ralph’s appointment is indicative of the world-class talent we are attracting as a $16 billion company with a portfolio of leading consumer brands. Ralph will be a key partner to me in helping Newell Brands scale our operating model, deliver our growth and financial objectives, and tell the Newell Brands story to our investors.”

At the time of his appointment as Chief Financial Officer at Newell Brands, Nicoletti had said: “I am excited to join Newell Brands during such a transformational time in the company’s history. The creation of Newell Brands presents many exciting opportunities, and I look forward to leveraging my experience to help the team achieve its business goals, build the finance function, and drive the company to realize its full potential.”


As a general rule, when a top manager announces to step aside with no successor available, it’s a sign that the move was unplanned and too early.

In general, possible causes for an unexpected management change can be, among others, disagreement or dispute.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Ralph Nicoletti’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 23.2018 ($).