Vulcan CFO John McPherson leaves post at short notice

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After about five years in the position
  • Praise and thanks for McPherson
  • Suzanne Wood taking over

(exechange) — Birmingham, Alabama, July 10, 2018 — John McPherson, finance chief of Vulcan, leaves the position. It is a change at short notice. As announced by Vulcan Materials Company in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Tuesday, July 10, 2018, John R. McPherson leaves his post as chief financial officer at the maker of construction aggregates, asphalt mix and ready-mixed concrete after about five years in the role, effective August 31, 2018.

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 6.7 years, according to data compiled by exechange.

McPherson leaves the company effective December 31, 2018.

McPherson’s duties will be taken over by Suzanne H. Wood, most recently chief financial officer of Ashtead Group plc.

The fact that McPherson’s successor is brought in from outside suggests that the board may seek to stimulate change with fresh ideas and new initiatives.

In general, an outsider does not have the constraints of an insider when it comes to leading painful changes or making unpopular decisions.

“More time with his family”

McPherson’s imminent departure from the CFO post is explained as follows. Vulcan said: “In order to ensure a smooth transition, Mr. McPherson will continue to serve in his current capacity until the end of August, and will remain with Vulcan as Chief Strategy Officer until the end of 2018, after which he plans to spend more time with his family in Dallas, Texas.”

The phrase “more time with his family” opens the door to speculation.

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

Wake-up call

Generally speaking, it is often an alarm signal for stockholders when a CFO leaves the position at short notice and without an understandable explanation.

Chaired by Tom Hill

Vulcan Materials Company is chaired by Tom Hill.

Tom Hill was elected chairman of the board for Vulcan Materials Company in December 2015, and president and chief executive officer in July 2014. Hill has been with Vulcan for more than 25 years.

In the position of CFO since 2013

John Ransey McPherson has been the Chief Financial & Strategy Officer of Vulcan Materials Company since July 14, 2014 and has also been its Executive Vice President since January 2014.

McPherson served as the Chief Financial Officer of Vulcan Materials Company from December 16, 2013 to July 2014.

John McPherson is executive vice president, chief financial and strategy officer for Vulcan Materials Company.

McPherson joined Vulcan in 2011 as senior vice president for strategy and business development, and has been involved with the Company professionally since 2009.

During 2013, he served as senior vice president of the East Region until his promotion to executive vice president and chief financial officer.

Prior to joining Vulcan, McPherson was the managing partner of the Dallas office of McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm.

McPherson also spent several years as an investment banker with Goldman Sachs & Co.

McPherson is a graduate of Stanford University where he earned both B.S. and M.B.A. degrees.

McPherson will remain Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer of the Company until December 31, 2018, at which time his employment with the Company will terminate.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered John McPherson’s imminent 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 29.2018 ($).