Trecora CEO Simon Upfill-Brown leaves at short notice

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After less than three and a half years in the position
  • Praise and good wishes for Upfill-Brown
  • Pat Quarles taking over

(exechange) — Sugar Land, Texas, November 30, 2018 — Simon Upfill-Brown, chief executive of Trecora, leaves. It is a change at short notice. As announced by Trecora Resources in a news release on Friday, November 30, 2018, Simon Upfill-Brown leaves his post as Chief Executive Officer at the petrochemical manufacturing company after less than three and a half years in the role, effective December 3, 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 9.1 years, according to data compiled by exechange.

Simon Upfill-Brown’s duties will be taken over by Patrick D. (Pat) Quarles, a former Executive Vice President and President, Acetyl Chain and Global Supply Management of Celanese Corporation.

Already a director

Quarles is already a director of Trecora. 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, Quarles understands the expectations and dynamics of the board and has knowledge of Trecora’s organization, risk-management practices and strategy.

“To pursue other opportunities”

Simon Upfill-Brown’s imminent departure from the CEO post is explained as follows. Trecora said: “Mr. Quarles will be replacing Simon Upfill-Brown who has announced his plans to resign from the position to pursue other opportunities, effective Monday, December 3, 2018.”

The phrase “to pursue other opportunities” opens the door to speculation.

Precise information about Simon Upfill-Brown’s future plans was not immediately available.

Alarm signal

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

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in Trecora Resources’s share price of 39 percent since September 2018.

Chaired by Nicholas Carter

Trecora Resources is chaired by Nicholas Carter.

Carter serves as Executive Chairman of the Board. He was previously the non-executive Chairman of the Board from July 2015 until March 2018 and President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company from July 2009 until his retirement in July 2015. Carter was temporarily appointed to the position of Executive Chairman in March 2018 to serve through the end of 2018, or earlier, if agreed to by the Company and Carter.

In the position of CEO since 2015

Simon Upfill-Brown has been the Chief Executive Officer and President of Trecora Resources since July 15, 2015 and has been its Chief Operating Officer since March 06, 2018.

Upfill-Brown received undergraduate degrees in chemistry and mathematical statistics from Stellenbosch University, South Africa and a Master of Business Administration from Stanford Graduate School of Business.

He is a National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) Governance Fellow.

He has over 20 years of senior level experience in international management of coatings, chemicals and renewable resources.

Beginning in 1993 he was President and CEO of Haltermann Inc.

Haltermann was a subsidiary of Ascot plc until its acquisition by The Dow Chemical Company in June 2001.

He was General Manager of Dow Haltermann from 2001 until 2008.

Upfill-Brown was also CEO of his own consulting firm, as well as CEO of a venture-backed algae-to-fuels company spun out of MIT in 2001, and a technology start-up focused on converting organic waste to hydrocarbon fuels.

He began his career in the paint and protective coatings industry.

Upfill-Brown joined the Company in 2012 as Executive Vice President and in 2013 was appointed President of SHR.

He was appointed to the AMAK Board in December 2012.

In July 2015 he was promoted to the position of President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company.

In March 2018, his role was expanded to Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer.

Quarles will continue to serve as a member of the Board.

With Upfill-Brown’s departure from the Company, the number of directors on Trecora’s Board will be fixed at six.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Simon Upfill-Brown’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 49.2018 ($).