Hain Celestial CEO Mark Schiller leaves post

  • After about four years in the position
  • Praise and thanks for Schiller
  • Wendy Davidson taking over
  • Schiller will remain as non-executive director at Hain Celestial
  • Schiller kept it short and said 55 words

(exechange) — Lake Success, New York, November 28, 2022 — Mark Schiller, chief executive of Hain Celestial, leaves his position. As announced by Hain Celestial Group Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Monday, November 28, 2022, Mark L. Schiller leaves his post as chief executive officer at the organic and natural products company, after about four years in the role, effective December 31, 2022.

The average tenure of CEOs who announced their departure over the past 12 months was 8.3 years. This is according to data collected by research firm exechange.

exechange tracks CEO departures at the 3,000 largest publicly traded companies in the U.S., examines the reasons CEOs leave and determines the Push‑out Score™, a measure of pressure on departing executives on a scale of 0 to 10.

Mark Schiller’s duties as CEO will be taken over by Wendy P. Davidson, most recently President-Americas for the Performance Nutrition segment at Glanbia plc.

The fact that Mark Schiller’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.

“Accelerating the transformative work”

Hain Celestial did not give an explicit reason for Mark Schiller’s departure from the CEO post. Dawn Zier, Chair of the Board, said: “We are excited to welcome Wendy as our new CEO. Her global CPG experience and successful track record in driving growth, reducing complexity, and developing talent are key to accelerating the transformative work that the leadership team has undertaken to launch our Hain 3.0 strategy.”

The three most common reasons given for CEO departures over the past 12 months are performance issues (24.2% of cases), reference to a planned succession (17.6%) and the statement that now was the right time for a change (9.1%), according to exechange data. Other reasons given for CEO departures included pursuit of other opportunities (6.3% of cases), personal reasons (3.5%) and conduct issues (2.5%). Rather rarely mentioned departure reasons are health problems (2.2% of cases), career change (2.2%), time with family (0.9%), disagreement (0.6%) and death (0.6%). Sometimes, more than one reason was given. In 30.2% of cases, no reason was given.

Schiller will remain as non-executive director at Hain Celestial

“As part of a planned transition, Mark L. Schiller will continue to serve as President and Chief Executive Officer until December 31, 2022, at which point, he will become a non-executive director on the Board and will serve as an ongoing resource to Ms. Davidson,” Hain Celestial said.


Hain Celestial said: “On November 22, 2022, the Board of Directors (the “Board”) of The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (the “Company”) approved a succession plan pursuant to which Mark L. Schiller will transition from his position as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company effective as of December 31, 2022 (the “Transition Date”). Mr. Schiller will remain as a director on the Board following the Transition Date.”

Share price decline since November 2021

The announcement follows a decline in Hain Celestial Group Inc.’s share price of 54% since November 2021.

In the position of CEO since 2018

Mark Schiller became CEO of the Company in 2018.

Mark L. Schiller has been the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer since November 2018, and has been a director since December 2018.

Prior to joining the Company, Schiller served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer for Pinnacle Foods Inc. from May 2017 to October 2018.

In this role, Schiller led Pinnacle’s Grocery and Frozen segments and key commercial functions utilized across the entire organization, including sales, marketing strategy, innovation, product development, package design, commercialization, productivity, consumer insights and shopper marketing.

Before he served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Schiller had served in other roles of increasing responsibility for Pinnacle including, from January 2015 to May 2017, he served as Executive Vice President and President North America Retail; from May 2013 to January 2015, he served as Executive Vice President and President Birds Eye Frozen Division; and from June 2010 to May 2013, he served as Executive Vice President and President Duncan Hines Grocery Division.

Prior to joining Pinnacle, Schiller was employed by PepsiCo, Inc. from March 2002 to April 2010, where he served as the Senior Vice President of Frito Lay New Ventures, President of Quaker Foods and Snacks North America, and Senior Vice President and General Manager of Frito Lay Convenience Foods Division.

From 1998 to 2002, Schiller was Chief Operating Officer and Co-President of Tutor Time Learning Systems, Inc., and, from 1996 to 1998, he served as president of Valley Recreation Products, Inc. Schiller began his career at the Quaker Oats Company in 1985 and served in various marketing, sales and supply chain roles.

55 words by Mark Schiller

In the news release announcing his departure as CEO of Hain Celestial Group Inc., Mark Schiller received praise and thanks.

Mark Schiller kept it short and said 55 words in the official leadership-change announcement.

“I look forward to working closely with Wendy”

Mark Schiller stated: “It has been a privilege and an honor to lead this team. Our performance during the transformation has driven significant value creation, benefiting shareholders while also laying the foundation for long-term growth. I look forward to working closely with Wendy as we transition roles and to being a valued and trusted resource as a director.”

Over the past 12 months, 26% of all outgoing CEOs remained silent in the departure announcement, according to data compiled by exechange. Departing CEOs who did make a statement said an average of 111 words. The longest statement was 382 words, and the shortest statement was 23 words. Statistically, management changes are associated with high pressure when outgoing CEOs provide conspicuously short, excessively long or no explanations of their move, according to exechange data. In contrast, leadership transitions are statistically associated with low pressure when departing CEOs speak more about their successors than their successes.

30% of CEOs are forced out or fired

When CEO departures are announced, exechange determines the Push-out Score on a scale of 0 to 10 to assess how likely it is that the chief executive was pushed out or felt pressure to leave the position.

Of the 318 CEO departures in the Russell 3000 Index evaluated over the past 12 months (November 28, 2021, to November 27, 2022), the average Push-out Score was 5.4, according to exechange data. References to conduct issues, disagreements and irregularities lead to the highest Push-out Scores. When time with family, performance issues or personal reasons were cited as departure reasons, the average Push-out Scores were also significantly elevated.

Around 30% of the CEO departure events from the past 12 months received Push-out Scores of 8 or higher.

In other words, in the past 12 months, three in 10 departing CEOs were forced out, fired or stepped down under extreme pressure.

Pressure in the consumer staples sector substantially above average

Some industries are under generally higher pressure than others, and CEOs are feeling the strain. In the past 12 months, the communication, health care and consumer staples sectors showed the highest average Push-out Scores. By contrast, pressure on CEOs was lowest in the real estate, industrials and financials sectors, as measured by average Push-out Scores.

In the consumer staples sector, which includes Hain Celestial Group Inc., the average Push-out Score over the past 12 months was 6.2, which is substantially above the average.

In the consumer staples sector, four exiting CEOs received Push-out Scores of 8 or higher over the past 12 months, indicating that they were forced out or stepped down under extreme pressure.

Push-out Score for Mark Schiller’s move determined

The Push-out Score regarding Mark Schiller’s move is explained point by point in the exechange report.

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

Read the full story in the exechange report 49.2022 ($).