United Rentals CEO Mike Kneeland hands over to Matt Flannery

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After almost 11 years in the position
  • Accolades for Kneeland
  • Kneeland will remain as non-executive chairman at United Rentals
  • Kneeland spoke at length and said 178 words

(exechange) — Stamford, Connecticut, January 8, 2019 — Mike Kneeland, chief executive of United Rentals, hands over the reins. As announced by United Rentals Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Tuesday, January 8, 2019, Michael J. (Mike) Kneeland leaves his post as chief executive officer at the largest equipment rental company in North America after almost 11 years in the role, effective May 8, 2019.

It is the end of an era.

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 8.7 years, according to data compiled by exechange. Only 34 percent of the CEOs who departed over the past 12 months left the position after more than 10 years.

Mike Kneeland’s duties will be taken over by Matthew J. (Matt) Flannery, currently chief operating officer of United Rentals, Inc.

“The culmination of a thoughtful and comprehensive process”

Mike Kneeland’s departure from the CEO post is explained as follows. United Rentals said: “This succession plan is the culmination of a thoughtful and comprehensive process, made easier by the depth of our executive talent.”

Kneeland will remain as non-executive chairman at United Rentals

“Additionally, the board has appointed Michael Kneeland, the current chief executive officer, to become non-executive chairman,” United Rentals said.

Bobby Griffin, a 10-year member of the board and chairman of the Strategy Committee, will become lead independent director.

“Step down/retire”

United Rentals said: “The appointments become effective at the company’s annual meeting of stockholders on May 8, 2019, when Chairman Jenne Britell and CEO Michael Kneeland will step down from their respective positions.”

United Rentals further said: “Michael J. Kneeland will retire as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer.”

Share price decline

The management change announcement follows a decline in United Rentals, Inc.’s share price of 40 percent since March 2018.

In the position of CEO since 2008

Michael J. Kneeland has been the Chief Executive Officer at United Rentals, Inc. since August 25, 2008.

Kneeland was appointed chief executive officer of United Rentals, and a director of the Company, in 2008.

From 2008 until March 2018, he also served as president.

Previously, he served as interim chief executive officer from 2007 to 2008. Kneeland joined United Rentals in 1998 as district manager upon the Company’s acquisition of Equipment Supply Company.

In 1999, his responsibilities were expanded to include multiple districts within United Rentals’ aerial operations.

He was subsequently named vice president-aerial operations in 2000, and vice president-southeast region in 2001, before being appointed executive vice president-operations in 2003.

His more than 35 years of management experience in the equipment rental industry includes key positions in sales and operations with private, public and investor-owned companies, including Free State Industries, Inc.

Kneeland served as Free State’s president from 1995 until the company was sold to Equipment Supply Company in 1996.

From 1996 to 1998 he served as general manager for Rylan Rents d/b/a Free State Industries, a division of Equipment Supply.

At the time it was acquired by United Rentals, Equipment Supply was the largest aerial equipment rental company in North America.

In 2011, Kneeland was appointed to serve on the board of directors of YRC Worldwide, Inc., a leading provider of transportation and global logistics services, where he serves as the Chairman of the Compensation Committee.

As of 2017, Kneeland also serves on the board of directors of Anticimex Group, a private pest-control company with headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden.

In 2015, he was designated Co-Chair, Transportation Stakeholder Alliance (The Business Council of Fairfield County) and was also appointed to the National Advisory Board for the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics.

Push-out Score determined

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange gauges the likelihood that a manager was pushed out or felt pressure to leave the position.

exechange reached out to United Rentals and offered the company the opportunity to comment on the score.

Read the full story in the exechange report 2.2019 ($).