PAE CEO John Heller leaves

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After around seven years in the position
  • Praise, thanks and good wishes for Heller
  • Charlie Peiffer taking over in the interim
  • Search for a successor
  • Heller kept it short and said 36 words

(exechange) — Falls Church, Virginia, March 16, 2021 — John Heller, chief executive of PAE, leaves. As announced by PAE Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Tuesday, March 16, 2021, John E. Heller leaves his post as chief executive officer at the defense and government services contractor after around seven years in the role, effective March 19, 2021.

PAE will undertake a search for a successor.

John Heller’s duties as CEO will be taken over in the interim by Charles D. (Charlie) Peiffer, currently Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of PAE Inc., as Interim Chief Executive Officer.

“Personal reasons”

John Heller’s departure from the CEO post is explained as follows. PAE said: “Mr. Peiffer’s appointment follows John Heller’s decision to resign from his position of President and Chief Executive Officer for personal reasons.”

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


PAE said: “On March 15, 2021, John E. Heller submitted a letter resigning from his position as President and Chief Executive Officer of PAE Incorporated for personal reasons. Mr. Heller’s letter provided that his resignation is effective on March 19, 2021.”

“Not due to any disagreement”

“Mr. Heller’s resignation was not due to any disagreement with PAE Incorporated on any matter relating to its operations, policies or practices,” PAE said.

Share price decline since March 2020

The announcement follows a decline in PAE Inc.’s share price of 14% since March 2020.

Chaired by Marshall Heinberg

Marshall Heinberg serves as PAE Inc.’s Chairman.

In the position of CEO since 2013

John Heller became CEO of the Company in 2013.

John Heller is the president and chief executive officer of PAE.

Since taking this role in December 2013, he has led PAE’s transformation into an industry-leading provider of services to the U.S. government.

Most notably, Heller carefully orchestrated PAE’s successful sale from an affiliate of Platinum Equity, LLC to special purpose acquisition company Gores Holdings III, Inc., resulting in PAE’s introduction as a public company in February 2020.

He previously led the sale of the company from an affiliate of Lindsay Goldberg, LLC to an affiliate of Platinum Equity, LLC in 2016.

At PAE, Heller has overseen the company’s organic and inorganic growth strategy, guiding the company from $1.6 billion in revenue when he joined the business to more than $2.76 billion in revenue today. Under Heller’s leadership, the company has grown through several major acquisitions and by focusing on superior performance and integrating adjacent capabilities, particularly in the national security sector.

Prior to joining PAE, Heller served as senior vice president and chief operating officer of Engility Corporation after the company was spun off from L-3 Communications. Before Engility, Heller served as president of the professional support services division of L-3 Communications, a position he accepted in April 2012 to support Engility’s transition to operating as an independent and publicly traded company. Before joining L-3, Heller held several leadership positions at Harris Corporation, including president of Harris IT Services. He also served as CEO of Netco, Inc. and president and chief operating officer of Multimax, Inc., a Cerberus Capital Management portfolio company. He led its sale to Harris Corporation in 2007.

Heller started his career in the U.S. Army serving in various leadership positions as a logistics officer. He then attended graduate business school and joined Deloitte Consulting. Following a decade in the consulting field, Heller attained his first CEO position at Rentport, Inc., a portfolio company of Catterton Partners (now L Catterton), a venture capital and private equity firm.

Heller graduated from the U.S. Military Academy and earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Pittsburgh. Today he serves the University of Pittsburgh on the Chancellor’s Global Advisory Council and on the Business Alumni Association board of directors for the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and College of Business Administration. In recognition of his achievements and contributions, Heller has been named a Katz Graduate School Distinguished Alumni Honoree. In addition to serving his alma mater, Heller more recently joined the advisory council for American University’s Kogod School of Business and was elected to the Professional Services Council board of directors and executive committee.

Heller has also made significant contributions to charitable causes in the Washington, D.C., community, specifically through his involvement on the executive leadership team of the American Heart Association’s Greater Washington Heart Walk. In 2015, Heller was honored with the GovCon Executive of the Year award for his success as CEO and his many contributions to both academic and community-oriented organizations.

Push-out Score determined

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange gauges the pressure surrounding John Heller’s move on a scale of 0 to 10.

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

Read the full story in the exechange report 12.2021 ($).