Michaels CEO Chuck Rubin leaves abruptly

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After about six years in the position
  • Thanks for Rubin
  • Mark Cosby taking over in the interim
  • Search for a successor
  • Rubin kept it short and said 51 words

(exechange) — Irving, Texas, February 28, 2019 — Chuck Rubin, chief executive of Michaels, leaves — as “mutually agreed.” It is an abrupt change. As announced by Michaels Cos. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Thursday, February 28, 2019, Carl S. (Chuck) Rubin leaves his post as Chief Executive Officer at the arts and crafts specialty retailer after about six years in the role, effective immediately.

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.

Michaels will undertake a search for a successor.

Chuck Rubin’s duties will be taken over in the interim by Mark S. Cosby, most recently President, North America of Office Depot Inc., as Interim Chief Executive Officer.

The fact that Chuck Rubin’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.

Chuck Rubin’s move is part of a management shake-up also involving the position of Interim President – Merchandising and Supply Chain.

No reason given

In the announcement, Michaels did not explicitly explain the obviously compelling reason for Chuck Rubin’s sudden move, leaving room for speculation.

Precise information regarding Chuck Rubin’s future plans was not immediately available.

Alarm signal

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

“Transition out”

Michaels said: “Mr. Cosby succeeds Chuck Rubin, who has mutually agreed with the Board of Directors to transition out of his role as CEO.”

Michaels further said: “Mr. Cosby will succeed Carl S. Rubin, who is transitioning out of his role as Chief Executive Officer, effective February 28, 2019.”

Share price decline

The announcement follows a decline in The Michaels Companies, Inc.’s share price of 48 percent since January 2018.

In the position of CEO since 2013

Carl S. Rubin has been the Chief Executive Officer of The Michaels Companies, Inc. since March 18, 2013.

Rubin was named the Company’s Chief Executive Officer in March 2013 and Chairman in April 2015.

Prior to joining the Company, Rubin served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, Inc. since September 2010, and served as Chief Operating Officer from April 2010 to September 2010.

Prior to joining Ulta, he served as President of the North American Retail division of Office Depot, Inc. beginning in January 2006 and as Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Merchandising Officer of Office Depot from 2004 to January 2006.

Prior to joining Office Depot, Rubin spent six years at Accenture Consulting in senior leadership roles including Partner, where he advised clients and led engagements across retail formats and e-commerce businesses.

Prior to that, Rubin held a number of senior merchandising and general management positions in the specialty retail and department store industry including with Federated Department Stores. Since December 2015, he has served as a member of the board of directors and of the Audit and Compensation Committees of Ascena Retail Group, Inc., a leading women’s clothing and accessories specialty retailer.

Rubin holds a B.A. degree from Brandeis University.

Rubin will continue as Chairman of the Board of Directors until April 1, 2019.


Generally speaking, when a top manager announces to step down with no permanent successor available, it’s a sign that the change 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 Michaels and offered the company the opportunity to comment on the score.

Read the full story in the exechange report 9.2019 ($).