Chart Industries CEO Bill Johnson leaves abruptly

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After about a year in the position
  • Thanks and good wishes for Johnson
  • Jill Evanko taking over

(exechange) — Atlanta, Georgia, June 13, 2018 — Bill Johnson, chief executive of Chart Industries, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Chart Industries, Inc. in a news release on Wednesday, June 13, 2018, William C. (Bill) Johnson leaves his post as Chief Executive Officer at the maker of equipment for the industrial gas, energy, and biomedical industries after about a year in the role, effective immediately.

No company wants a CEO to flame out in the first year.

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 11 percent of the CEOs who departed over the past 12 months left the position within two years, and 21 percent left the position within three years.

Johnson’s duties will be taken over by Jillian C. (Jill) Evanko, most recently Chief Financial Officer of Chart Industries, Inc.

Chart and its Board of Directors have commenced a search for a new Chief Financial Officer. The company also announced the appointment of two corporate executives; Tom Pittet, who serves as Vice President of Tax and Treasury, will assume the additional role of Treasurer, and Michael Schmit, who has been appointed Chief Accounting Officer, in addition to his current role as Corporate Controller.

No reason given

In the announcement, Chart Industries did not explicitly explain the obviously compelling reason for Johnson’s sudden move, leaving room for speculation.

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

Wake-up call

Generally speaking, it is often an alarm signal for investors when a CEO leaves the position abruptly and without an understandable explanation.

“Terminated without cause”

Chart Industries said that Jillian C. Evanko “succeeds William C. Johnson who has been terminated without cause, in accordance with his employment contract.”

Share price rise since January 2016

The change follows a rise in the share price of Chart Industries, Inc. since January 2016.

In the position of CEO since 2017

William C. Johnson was the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, President and Chairman of the Board.

Johnson joined the Company in July 2016 as President and Chief Operating Officer and became the Company’s CEO and President on May 25, 2017, effective as of the Company’s 2017 Annual Meeting.

Prior to joining Chart, Johnson served as President and Chief Executive Officer at Dover Refrigeration & Food Equipment, Inc., a subsidiary of Dover Corporation.

Johnson held multiple executive positions at Dover and its manufacturing companies, which he joined in August 2006 as Executive Vice President at Hill Phoenix, Inc.

Prior to his tenure with Dover, Johnson served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Graham Corporation.

Steven W. Krablin has been elected Chairman of the Board.

Krablin has served as a member of the Board since July 2006 and has been the Lead Independent Director since June 2015.

In conjunction with this announcement, the Company also reiterates its full-year 2018 guidance of $1.15 to $1.20 billion of revenue, and adjusted earnings per share of $1.75 to $2.00.  Capital expenditures are expected to be in the range of $35 to $45 million.

Push-out Score determined

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange suggests that push-out forces have contributed to the change.

Read the full story in the exechange report 25.2018 ($).