International Paper CFO Glenn Landau leaves abruptly

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After less than a year and a half in the position
  • Thanks and good wishes for Landau
  • Tim Nicholls taking over

(exechange) — Memphis, Tennessee, June 20, 2018 — Glenn Landau, finance chief of International Paper, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by International Paper Company in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, Glenn R. Landau leaves his post as Chief Financial Officer at the pulp and paper company after less than a year and a half in the role, effective immediately.

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 6.6 years, according to data compiled by exechange. Only 15 percent of the CFOs who departed over the past 12 months left the position within two years, and 28 percent left the position within three years.

Landau’s duties will be taken over by Timothy S. (Tim) Nicholls, most recently Senior Vice President – Industrial Packaging the Americas of International Paper Company.

Landau’s move is part of a management shake-up also involving the position of Senior Vice President – Global Cellulose Fibers.

“For personal reasons”

The management change is explained as follows. International Paper said: “Timothy S. Nicholls has been appointed Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, succeeding Glenn R. Landau who is leaving the company for personal reasons.”

In the announcement, the company did not detail the personal reasons causing Landau to leave the position, leaving room for speculation. Generally speaking, “personal reasons” may include, among others, family-related reasons or health reasons.

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

Wake-up call

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

“Will no longer serve”

International Paper said: “Glenn R. Landau will no longer serve as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, effective June 20, 2018, and is leaving the Company for personal reasons.”

“Not related to any disagreement”

“Mr. Landau’s departure is not related to any disagreement with the Company regarding any strategic, financial, accounting or other business matter,” International Paper said.

It is a phrase that may be intended to prevent false rumors. It may also fuel further speculation and raise more questions than it answers. Such a phrase should be read very carefully. The exact wording may be insightful.

Chaired by Mark S. Sutton

International Paper Company is chaired by Mark S. Sutton.

Mark Sutton became chairman of the International Paper Board of Directors on January 1, 2015, and CEO on November 1, 2014.

In the position of CFO since 2017

Glenn Landau was named senior vice president and chief financial officer of International Paper effective on February 22, 2017.

In addition to his role in finance, he also had oversight for the Company’s information technology group.

Prior to becoming CFO, he served as president of International Paper Latin America with overall responsibility for the company’s paper and packaging businesses in Brazil as well as the strategic direction for South America.

He was elected Senior Vice President in November 2014.

He joined International Paper in 1991, as an engineer at the Putnam, Conn., corrugated box plant and held positions of increasing responsibility in the U.S. container and European container businesses, where he served from 2000 to 2003 as managing director of International Paper Italia.

In 2004, he was appointed director of strategic planning for the forest resources sector and played a meaningful role in the company’s transformation, leading the forestland sale process as well as the company’s fiber procurement group in North America post divestiture.

In June 2007, he was promoted to vice president and general manager, containerboard, where he was instrumental in the company’s acquisition, integration and optimization of the former Weyerhaeuser containerboard, packaging and recycling business.

Landau was appointed vice president investor relations in 2011 and served in that capacity through 2013.

Landau serves on the Board of Directors for Factory Mutual Insurance Company (FM Global), elected in September 2017.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in industrial and systems engineering from Rutgers University.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Glenn Landau’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 26.2018 ($).