Tredegar CEO John Gottwald leaves at short notice

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After about three and a half years in the position
  • Praise and thanks for Gottwald
  • John Steitz taking over

(exechange) — Richmond, Virginia, February 28, 2019 — John Gottwald, chief executive of Tredegar, leaves. It is a change at short notice. As announced by Tredegar Corp. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Thursday, February 28, 2019, John D. Gottwald leaves his post as chief executive officer at the maker of plastic films and aluminum extrusions after about three and a half years in the role, effective March 18, 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 8.2 years, according to data compiled by exechange.

John Gottwald’s duties will be taken over by John M. Steitz, most recently chief executive officer of Addivant Corporation.

Already a director

Steitz is already a director of Tredegar. Often a board member is a last resort, someone who is turned to in desperation when a company cannot find suitable candidates. On the other hand, directors-turned-executives represent a blend of outsider and insider.

They don’t have the constraints of a pure insider when it comes to leading painful changes or making unpopular decisions, and they have more company knowledge than a pure outsider.

Having been a director, Steitz understands the expectations and dynamics of the board and has knowledge of Tredegar’s organization, risk-management practices and strategy.

No reason given

In the announcement, Tredegar did not explicitly explain the reason for John Gottwald’s imminent move, leaving room for speculation.

Precise information regarding John Gottwald’s future plans was not immediately available.

Alarm signal

Generally speaking, it is often an alarm signal for investors when a CEO leaves the position at short notice and without a reasonable explanation.


Tredegar said: “John D. Gottwald plans to retire as Tredegar’s president and chief executive officer.”

Tredegar further said: “[O]n February 22, 2019, John D. Gottwald informed the Company’s Board of Directors … that he plans to retire as the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer, effective as of the day following the filing of the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018 with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which is expected to occur on March 18, 2019.”

Share price decline

The announcement follows a decline in Tredegar Corporation’s share price of 34 percent since July 2018.

Chaired by William M. Gottwald

Tredegar Corporation is chaired by William M. Gottwald.

In the position of CEO since 2015

Gottwald joined Tredegar in 1989 and served as president and chief executive officer from 1989 to 2001, from 2006 to 2010, and from 2015 to the present.

He will continue to serve as a member of Tredegar’s board of directors and its executive committee.

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

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