AbbVie CFO Bill Chase leaves post abruptly

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After about six years in the position
  • Rob Michael taking over

(exechange) — North Chicago, Illinois, October 19, 2018 — Bill Chase, finance chief of AbbVie, leaves the position. It is an abrupt change. As announced by AbbVie Inc. in a regulatory filing published on Friday, October 19, 2018, William J. (Bill) Chase leaves his post as Chief Financial Officer at the biopharmaceutical company after about six years in the role, effective immediately.

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.

Chase leaves the company effective in mid-2019.

Bill Chase’s duties will be taken over by Robert A. (Rob) Michael, most recently Vice President, Controller of AbbVie Inc.

No reason given

In the announcement, AbbVie did not explicitly explain the obviously compelling reason for Bill Chase’s sudden move, leaving room for speculation.

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

Alarm signal

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


AbbVie said: “William J. Chase, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, informed AbbVie that he plans to retire from the company in mid-2019.”

AbbVie further said: “Effective October 19, 2018, Mr. Chase has been appointed Executive Vice President, Finance and Administration, and Robert A. Michael has been appointed Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and Mr. Michael will continue to report to Mr. Chase in his new role.”

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of AbbVie Inc. since March 2018.

Chaired by Richard A. Gonzalez

AbbVie Inc. is chaired by Richard A. Gonzalez.

Rick Gonzalez is Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of AbbVie. Prior to AbbVie’s separation from Abbott, Gonzalez was a 30-year Abbott veteran.

In the position of CFO since 2013

Bill Chase served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

Prior to AbbVie’s separation from Abbott, Chase served as Vice President, Licensing and Acquisitions.

He has also served as Vice President and Treasurer, Divisional Vice President and Controller for the global pharmaceutical business.

The separation of AbbVie from Abbott was effective January 1, 2013, and AbbVie was officially listed on the New York Stock Exchange on January 2, 2013.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Bill Chase’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 43.2018 ($).