Maxar CEO Howard Lance leaves abruptly

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After less than three years in the position
  • Praise and thanks for Lance
  • Dan Jablonsky taking over

(exechange) — Westminster, Colorado, January 14, 2019 — Howard Lance, chief executive of Maxar, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Maxar Technologies Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Monday, January 14, 2019, Howard L. Lance has left his post as Chief Executive Officer at the space technology company after less than three years in the role, effective January 13, 2019.

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

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 8.6 years, according to data compiled by exechange. Only 23 percent of the CEOs who departed over the past 12 months left the position within three years.

Howard Lance’s move comes less than two months after General Howell M. Estes III took over as Chairman of Maxar Technologies Inc.

Howard Lance’s duties were taken over by Daniel L. (Dan) Jablonsky, most recently President of DigitalGlobe.

The fact that Howard Lance’s successor is brought in from outside suggests that the board may seek to stimulate change with fresh ideas and new initiatives.

In general, an outsider does not have the constraints of an insider when it comes to leading painful changes or making unpopular decisions.

“The right time”

A reason for Howard Lance’s sudden departure from the CEO post was not explicitly provided. General Howell M. Estes III, Chairman of the Maxar Board, said: “Dan is the right leader for Maxar and now is the right time for this transition as we work to unlock the value of our operations for all stakeholders and maximize returns for our shareholders.”

Precise information regarding Howard Lance’s future plans was not immediately available.

“Resigned”

Maxar said: “He succeeds Howard Lance, who has resigned from his roles as President and Chief Executive Officer and as a Director of Maxar.”

Maxar further said: “Howard L. Lance resigned from his position as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company and resigned from the Board of Directors of the Company, in each case, effective as of January 13, 2019.”

Share price decline

The management change announcement follows a decline in Maxar Technologies Inc.’s share price of 89 percent since July 2018.

Chaired by General Howell M. Estes III

Maxar Technologies Inc. is chaired by General Howell M. Estes III.

Howell Estes, of Colorado Springs, CO, has been Chairman of the Board since December, 2018. He served previously as a Director of Maxar Technologies from October, 2017, Chairman of the Board of DigitalGlobe from February, 2011 and Director from May 14, 2007.

In the position of CEO since 2016

Lance has been the Chief Executive Officer and President of Maxar Technologies since May 16, 2016.

Previous to joining Maxar, Lance served as Executive Advisor- Private Equity at the Blackstone Group (NYSE:BX) since 2012.

Lance served as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS) from 2003-2011.

Harris is a leading global provider of communications and information technology products, software, systems and services to government, defense, and commercial markets.

Before joining Harris, Lance was President of NCR Corporation (NYSE:NCR) and Chief Operating Officer of its Retail and Financial Group from 2001-2002.

Previously, he spent 17 years with Emerson Electric Company (NYSE:EMR) including as executive vice president of its Electronics and Telecommunications Group, chief executive officer and director of its Astec Plc electronics subsidiary based in Hong Kong, group vice president of its Climate Technologies group and president of its Copeland Refrigeration division.

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial engineering (with honors) from Bradley University, and a Master of Science degree in management from the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University.

He serves on the Board of Directors of Summit Materials, Inc (NYSE:SUM) as non-executive chairman, and on the Board of Directors of privately-held Change Healthcare, Inc. as vice-chairman.

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 Maxar and offered the company the opportunity to comment on the score.

Read the full story in the exechange report 3.2019 ($).