Owens & Minor CEO Cody Phipps leaves abruptly

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After less than three and a half years in the position
  • Thanks for Phipps
  • Bob Sledd taking over in the interim
  • Search for a successor

(exechange) — Richmond, Virginia, November 8, 2018 — Cody Phipps, chief executive of Owens & Minor, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Owens & Minor Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Thursday, November 8, 2018, Paul Cody Phipps has left his post as Chief Executive Officer at the healthcare logistics company after less than three and a half years in the role, effective November 7, 2018.

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.

Owens & Minor will undertake a search for a successor.

Cody Phipps’s duties were taken over in the interim by Robert C. (Bob) Sledd, a former Chief Executive Officer of Performance Food Group Co., as Interim Chief Executive Officer.

Already a director

Sledd is already a director of Owens & Minor. Often a board member is a last resort, someone who is turned to in desperation when a company cannot find suitable candidates. On the other hand, directors-turned-executives represent a blend of outsider and insider.

They don’t have the constraints of a pure insider when it comes to leading painful changes or making unpopular decisions, and they have more company knowledge than a pure outsider.

Having been a director, Sledd understands the expectations and dynamics of the board and has knowledge of Owens & Minor’s organization, risk-management practices and strategy.

“The business will benefit from a change in leadership”

Cody Phipps’s sudden departure from the CEO post is explained as follows. Anne Marie Whittemore, Lead Director, said in a fairly blunt statement: “The Board believes the business will benefit from a change in leadership.”

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

“Stepped down”

Owens & Minor said: “Mr. Sledd succeeds P. Cody Phipps, who served as Chairman, President and CEO.”

Owens & Minor further said: “P.Cody Phipps stepped down from his position as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company and as an officer or director of any affiliated entity of the Company and resigned as a member and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Company …, effective as of the close of business on November 7, 2018.”

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of Owens & Minor Inc. since April 2016.

In the position of CEO since 2015

P.Cody Phipps joined Owens & Minor as its President & Chief Executive Officer effective July 1, 2015.

He served as President & Chief Executive Officer of Essendant, Inc. (formerly United Stationers Inc.) from 2011 to 2015.

He served as Essendant’s President from 2006 to 2011 and as Senior Vice President, Operations from 2003 to 2006.

Previously, he was a Partner at McKinsey & Company, Inc., where he co-founded and led its Service Strategy and Operations Initiative, which focused on driving operational improvements in complex service and logistics environments.

During his tenure at McKinsey, Phipps provided consulting services to a range of corporate clients across a diverse set of industries, including retail, manufacturing and healthcare.

He formerly served on the board of directors of Con-way, Inc. and currently serves on the board of directors of R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company.

Phipps has been a director of the Company since 2015.

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 46.2018 ($).