Newell Brands CEO Mike Polk leaves

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After almost eight years in the position
  • Praise and thanks for Polk
  • Search for a successor
  • Polk said 90 words

(exechange) — Hoboken, New Jersey, March 14, 2019 — Mike Polk, chief executive of Newell Brands, leaves. As announced by Newell Brands Inc. in a news release on Thursday, March 14, 2019, Michael B. (Mike) Polk, Chief Executive Officer, leaves the household goods maker after almost eight years in the role, effective at the end of the second quarter.

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 8.1 years, according to data compiled by exechange.

Newell Brands will undertake a search for a successor.

“Now is the right time”

Mike Polk’s departure from the CEO post is explained as follows. Newell Brands said: “The Board and Mr. Polk have agreed that, as the company nears the completion of its Accelerated Transformation Plan, now is the right time for a management transition.”

Precise information regarding Mike Polk’s future plans was not immediately available.


Newell Brands said: “Michael Polk, the company’s President and Chief Executive Officer since 2011 and a member of the Newell Brands Board of Directors since 2009, will retire from the company at the end of the second quarter.”

Share price decline

The announcement follows a decline in Newell Brands Inc.’s share price of 72 percent since June 2017.

Chaired by Patrick Campbell

Newell Brands Inc. is chaired by Patrick Campbell.

Patrick D. Campbell is the retired senior vice president and chief financial officer of 3M Company, a diversified global technology company.

In the position of CEO since 2011

Michael B. Polk has been Chief Executive Officer of Newell Brands Inc. since July 18, 2011.

Michael B. Polk has been Chief Executive Officer of the Company since 2016 and was previously President and Chief Executive officer since 2011.

Prior to joining the Company, he had been President, Global Foods, Home & Personal Care, Unilever, a consumer goods company, since 2010.

Polk joined Unilever in 2003 as Chief Operating Officer, Unilever Foods USA and subsequently became President, Unilever USA in 2005.

From 2007 to 2010, Polk served as President, Unilever Americas. Prior to joining Unilever, Polk spent sixteen years at Kraft Foods Inc., a consumer foods company, and three years at The Procter & Gamble Company.

At Kraft Foods, Polk was President, Kraft Foods Asia Pacific, President, Biscuits and Snacks Sector, and was a member of the Kraft Foods Management Committee.

Polk serves on the Board of Directors of Colgate-Palmolive Company and is a former member of the Board of Directors of The Yankee Candle Company, Inc.


As a general rule, when a top leader announces to step aside with no successor available, it is a signal that the move was unplanned and too early.

Push-out Score determined

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange gauges the likelihood that Mike Polk was pushed out or felt pressure to leave the position.

exechange reached out to Newell Brands and offered the company the opportunity to comment on the score.

Read the full story in the exechange report 11.2019 ($).