Middleby CEO Selim Bassoul leaves abruptly

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After about 18 years in the position
  • Accolades, praise, thanks and good wishes for Bassoul
  • Tim FitzGerald taking over
  • Bassoul spoke at length and said 158 words

(exechange) — Elgin, Illinois, February 19, 2019 — This news came the day after Presidents Day. Selim Bassoul, chief executive of Middleby, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Middleby Corp. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Tuesday, February 19, 2019, Selim A. Bassoul has left his post as Chief Executive Officer at the commercial and residential cooking and industrial process equipment company after about 18 years in the role, effective February 16, 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 8.2 years, according to data compiled by exechange. Only 13 percent of the CEOs who departed over the past 12 months left the position after more than 15 years.

Selim Bassoul’s duties were taken over by Timothy J. (Tim) FitzGerald, most recently Chief Financial Officer of The Middleby Corporation.

Selim Bassoul’s move is part of a management shake-up also involving the positions of Chief Operating Officer; and Chief Financial Officer.

“To focus on his family and his humanitarian efforts”

A reason for Selim Bassoul’s sudden departure from the CEO post was not explicitly provided. Middleby said: “In announcing his retirement, Mr. Bassoul plans to focus on his family and his humanitarian efforts through his Bassoul Dignity Foundation. Mr. Bassoul will serve as a consultant to the Board.”


Middleby said: “Selim Bassoul is retiring from his role as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. Timothy FitzGerald has been named Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors. … These changes are effective as of February 16, 2019.”

Middleby further said: “On February 16, 2019, The Middleby Corporation … announced the retirement of Selim A. Bassoul as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, and as a director of the Company, effective immediately.”

Share price increase since February 2011

The announcement follows an increase in The Middleby Corporation’s share price of 322 percent since February 2011.

In the position of CEO since 2001

Bassoul has been the Chief Executive Officer of Middleby Corp., and its holding company of Houno A/S since January 1, 2001.

Bassoul joined The Middleby Corporation in 1996 as President of the company’s Southbend division.

He became Chief Operating Officer of The Middleby Corporation in 1999 and was named Chief Executive in 2000 and Chairman of the Board in 2004.

Under his leadership the company has added a dozen acquisitions to grow Middleby’s presence to a market leader in the industries they serve and quadruple company sales in a five year period.

Prior to joining The Middleby Corporation Bassoul worked for eight years in commercial food equipment for Premark, Inc., a unit of Illinois Tool Works, as Director of Marketing, General Manager of the Cook-Chill division and Vice President of Sales for the Vulcan Cooking Division.

Before entering the foodservice industry, Bassoul worked in the healthcare industry for eight years for American Hospital Supply and Baxter Healthcare in various positions including mergers and acquisitions, corporate planning and regional director in the Middle East and Africa.

Bassoul started his career at Ernst & Young in the Middle East and then moved to the United States to continue his postgraduate education at the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management where he earned his M.B.A. in finance and marketing and a certificate in Accounting.

Before coming to the U.S. Bassoul attended the American University of Beirut where he received a B.A. in Business Administration with Distinction and was the recipient of the David Dodge Scholar Award.

Through high school he was educated by the Jesuits at Notre Dame de Jamhour in Beirut. Bassoul remained committed to excelling while a civil war was raging in his country, Lebanon.

Bassoul has been the recipient of many honors including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and the YPO International Legacy Award.

Outside his career, his achievements include Contributing Editor, Journal of Business Strategy, speaker on global marketing at the Conference Board, developer of the Riskette financial modeling system, and Exsys software for international distribution.

Bassoul is a member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of the Holy Spirit University Foundation.

He is a current member of the Board of Directors of New Piper Aircraft and Confluence Watermark.

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

Read the full story in the exechange report 8.2019 ($).