Heritage CEO Walt Kaczmarek hands over to Keith Wilton

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After around 14 years in the position
  • Praise for Kaczmarek
  • Kaczmarek kept it short and said 35 words

(exechange) — San Jose, California, January 24, 2019 — Walt Kaczmarek, chief executive of Heritage, hands over the reins. As announced by Heritage Commerce Corp in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Thursday, January 24, 2019, Walter T. (Walt) Kaczmarek leaves his post as Chief Executive Officer at the holding company for Heritage Bank of Commerce after around 14 years in the role, effective August 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 8.4 years, according to data compiled by exechange. Only 33 percent of the CEOs who departed over the past 12 months left the position after more than 10 years.

Walt Kaczmarek’s duties will be taken over by Keith A. Wilton, currently Chief Operating Officer of Heritage Commerce Corp.

“Planned transition”

Walt Kaczmarek’s departure from the CEO post is explained as follows. Jack Conner, Chairman of the Board, said: “Taking a methodical and thoughtful approach to this transition was important to us. We wanted to ensure that our customers, shareholders, and employees feel confident with the planned transition in leadership.”

Precise information regarding Walt Kaczmarek’s future plans was not immediately available.


Heritage said: “Walter Kaczmarek, President and Chief Executive Officer …, will retire effective August 8, 2019.”

Heritage further said: “At the Company’s Board of Directors meeting held January 24, 2019, Walter T. Kaczmarek announced that he would be retiring as Chief Executive Officer and President of Heritage Commerce Corp and as Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Bank of Commerce effective August 8, 2019.”

Share price increase since October 2009

The management change announcement follows an increase in Heritage Commerce Corp’s share price of 385 percent since October 2009.

Chaired by Jack Conner

Heritage Commerce Corp is chaired by Jack Conner.

In the position of CEO since 2005

Walter T. Kaczmarek has been the Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Commerce Corp. and of its subsidiary Heritage Bank of commerce since March 18, 2005.

He is President, Chief Executive Officer and a director of Heritage Commerce Corp and Chief Executive Officer and a director of Heritage Bank of Commerce.

Prior to joining the Company in 2005, Kaczmarek was Executive Vice President of Comerica Bank and of Plaza Bank of Commerce from 1990.

Prior to joining Plaza Bank of Commerce he served in various positions with Union Bank of California and also The Martin Group, a real estate investment development company.

Kaczmarek has a Bachelor of Science in Commerce degree from Santa Clara University, and a Masters in Business Administration degree from San Jose State University.

Kaczmarek has held the title of President and CEO of the Company since 2005 and will remain on the Board of Directors after his retirement.

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

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