Astec CEO Ben Brock leaves abruptly

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After about five years in the position
  • Praise, thanks and good wishes for Brock
  • Rick Dorris taking over in the interim
  • Search for a successor
  • Brock said 99 words

(exechange) — Chattanooga, Tennessee, January 22, 2019 — This news came the day after Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Ben Brock, chief executive of Astec, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Astec Industries Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Tuesday, January 22, 2019, Benjamin G. (Ben) Brock has left his post as Chief Executive Officer at the asphalt-paving equipment maker after about five years in the role, effective January 21, 2019.

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 8.5 years, according to data compiled by exechange.

Astec will undertake a search for a successor.

Ben Brock’s duties will be taken over in the interim by Richard J. (Rick) Dorris, currently Chief Operating Officer of Astec Industries, Inc., as interim Chief Executive Officer.

“New personal and professional interests”

Ben Brock’s sudden departure from the CEO post is explained as follows. Brock said: “After 26 years of service, I am confident that now is the time to pursue new personal and professional interests. I look forward to watching Astec’s continued growth and success in the future.”

The phrase “new personal and professional interests” opens the door to speculation.

Precise information regarding Ben Brock’s future plans was not immediately available.

Alarm signal

Generally speaking, it is often an alarm signal for shareholders when a CEO leaves the post abruptly and without a reasonable explanation.

“Resigned”

Astec said: “Benjamin G. Brock has resigned as President and Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the Board of Directors, effective as of the close of business on January 21, 2019.”

In addition, the Board has appointed William D. Gehl, a current member of Astec’s Board, as Chairman of the Board, effective immediately.

Share price decline

The management change announcement follows a decline in Astec Industries, Inc.’s share price of 48 percent since February 2017.

In the position of CEO since 2014

Benjamin G. Brock has served as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer and President since January 2014.

He previously served as the Vice President and President of the Company’s Asphalt Group from August 2012 to December 2013 and as President of Astec, Inc. from 2006 to 2013.

He held the position of Vice President – Sales of Astec, Inc. from 2003 until 2006 and Vice President/General Manager of CEI Enterprises, Inc. from 1997 until 2002.

Brock’s career with Astec began as a salesman in 1993.

Brock has been a Director of the Company since 2013.

Unexpected

As a general rule, when a top manager announces to step down with no permanent successor available, it’s a sign that the move was unplanned and too early.

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

Read the full story in the exechange report 4.2019 ($).