Arconic CEO Chip Blankenship leaves abruptly

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After about a year in the position
  • Praise and thanks for Blankenship
  • John Plant taking over

(exechange) — New York, February 6, 2019 — Chip Blankenship, chief executive of Arconic, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Arconic Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Wednesday, February 6, 2019, Charles P. (Chip) Blankenship leaves his post as Chief Executive Officer at the aluminum-sheet and parts maker after about a year in the role, effective immediately.

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

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 8.2 years, according to data compiled by exechange. Only 15 percent of the CEOs who departed over the past 12 months left the position within two years, and 24 percent left the position within three years.

Chip Blankenship’s duties will be taken over by John C. Plant, currently Chairman of the Board of Arconic Inc.

Chip Blankenship’s move is part of a management shake-up also involving the position of Chief Operating Officer.

“To identify and implement operational improvements and other potential strategic initiatives”

A reason for Chip Blankenship’s sudden departure from the CEO post was not explicitly provided. Arthur D. Collins, Jr., the newly appointed Lead Director, said: “The Board is focused on continuing to identify and implement operational improvements and other potential strategic initiatives.”

Precise information regarding Chip Blankenship’s future plans was not immediately available.

“Ceased to serve”

Arconic said: “Mr. Plant succeeds Chip Blankenship as Chief Executive Officer.”

Arconic further said: “On February 6, 2019, the Company announced that the Board of Directors … appointed John C. Plant, current Chairman of the Board, as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, effective February 6, 2019, to succeed Charles “Chip” Blankenship, who ceased to serve as Chief Executive Officer of the Company and resigned as a member of the Board, in each case as of that date.”

Share price decline

The announcement follows a decline in Arconic Inc.’s share price of 38 percent since January 2018.

In the position of CEO since 2018

Blankenship has been Chief Executive Officer and Director of Arconic Inc. since January 15, 2018.

Prior to joining Arconic in January 2018, Blankenship served in senior leadership roles during a 24-year career at General Electric (GE), primarily within its aviation businesses, including aero engines, industrial gas turbines and aerospace alloy development.

He led GE Aviation’s Commercial Engines Operation, the world’s leading producer of large and small jet engines for commercial aircraft, and GE’s Aero Energy business, a division of GE Energy that supplies aeroderivative gas turbines and other products for industrial and marine applications.

Most recently, from 2012 to 2017, Blankenship served as President and CEO of GE Appliances, leading a significant turnaround of that business and its subsequent sale to the Haier Company in 2016.

A metallurgist by training, Blankenship holds a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Virginia and a B.S. in Materials Engineering from Virginia Tech.

He holds seven patents related to jet engine technology.

Blankenship is a member of the Executive Committee of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

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

Read the full story in the exechange report 6.2019 ($).