Axalta CEO Terrence Hahn leaves abruptly

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After less than five weeks in the position
  • Robert Bryant taking over in the interim
  • Hahn kept it short and said 10 words

(exechange) — Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, October 8, 2018 — This news came on Columbus Day. Terrence Hahn, chief executive of Axalta, leaves — “by mutual agreement with the Board.” It is an abrupt change. As announced by Axalta Coating Systems Ltd. in a news release on Monday, October 8, 2018, Terrence S. Hahn leaves his post as Chief Executive Officer at the coatings company after less than five weeks in the role, effective immediately.

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

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 9.2 years, according to data compiled by exechange. Only 4 percent of the CEOs who departed over the past 12 months left the position within their first year. Around 11 percent left the position within two years, and 20 percent left the position within three years.

Hahn’s duties will be taken over in the interim by Robert W. Bryant, currently Chief Financial Officer of Axalta Coating Systems Ltd., as interim Chief Executive Officer.

“Following an investigation by outside counsel into conduct by Mr. Hahn unrelated to financial matters that Axalta believes was inconsistent with Company policies”

Hahn’s sudden departure from the CEO post is explained as follows. Axalta said in a fairly blunt statement: “Bryant succeeds Terrence Hahn, who has resigned by mutual agreement with the Board, following an investigation by outside counsel into conduct by Mr. Hahn unrelated to financial matters that Axalta believes was inconsistent with Company policies.”

Hahn has also vacated his position on the Board.

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

Chaired by Charlie Shaver

Axalta Coating Systems Ltd. is chaired by Charlie Shaver.

With over 35 years of leadership roles in the global petrochemical, oil, and gas industry, Charlie Shaver is Axalta’s Chairman of the Board. Shaver recently stepped down as Axalta’s Chief Executive Officer after serving for more than five years in that position while leading the Company’s separation from its former parent, overseeing its initial public offering and listing on the New York Stock Exchange, and generating long-term shareholder value.

In the position of CEO since 2018

Terrence Hahn has been Chief Executive Officer and Director at Axalta Coating Systems Ltd. since September 4, 2018.

He succeeded Charlie Shaver, who served as Axalta’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer since 2013.

Hahn was most recently President and Chief Executive Officer of Honeywell International Inc.’s Home and Building Technologies group.

Before assuming that role, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Honeywell Transportation Systems in Switzerland, where he led a rapid global expansion of the business group.

Hahn has served in various other executive leadership roles at Honeywell since joining in 2007.

Prior to his time at Honeywell, Hahn spent nearly 20 years with Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., in a range of business, operations and technology leadership roles, with positions based in Taiwan, Malaysia and Canada.

He holds an MBA degree from the Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania and master and bachelor degrees in Materials Science and Engineering from Lehigh University.

At the time of Hahn’s appointment as Chief Executive Officer at Axalta, Shaver had said: “On behalf of Axalta’s Board, I want to welcome Terrence Hahn to the Company. We are confident that Terrence is a great choice to lead Axalta going forward. His accomplishments as an executive with over a decade of domestic and international experience across multiple business groups at Honeywell, along with his nearly two decades of previous experience in a variety of leadership roles at Air Products and Chemicals, make him a terrific fit for Axalta. … We identified Terrence as having a proven track record of success, and the right expertise, experience, and personality for Axalta. I look forward to a successful transition of the Chief Executive Officer role to Terrence and a wonderful partnership with him in my role as Chairman.”

At the time of his appointment as Chief Executive Officer at Axalta, Hahn had said: “I am honored to join Axalta at this dynamic time for the Company and the coatings industry.  Axalta has leading positions, a terrific executive team, strong global presence, and top brands. I am excited about the tremendous opportunity at Axalta to drive organic growth through innovative and value-add offerings that will deepen existing customer relationships and attract new customers, as well as add inorganic growth through strategic acquisitions. I appreciate the Board’s confidence in me and look forward to working with Charlie and the Axalta leadership team to help drive the next phase of Axalta’s growth and build shareholder value.”

Push-out Score determined
Read the full story in the exechange report 42.2018 ($).