AMC Networks CEO Chris Spade leaves

  • After less than three months in the position
  • Praise, thanks and good wishes for Spade
  • No successor appointed

(exechange) — New York, November 29, 2022 — Chris Spade, chief executive of AMC Networks, leaves her position. As announced by AMC Networks Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Tuesday, November 29, 2022, Christina (Chris) Spade has left her post as chief executive officer at the entertainment company, after less than three months in the role, effective November 28, 2022.

The average tenure of CEOs who announced their departure over the past 12 months was 8.3 years. Around 5% of CEOs left their posts within their first year. 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 chief executives on a scale of 0 to 10.

AMC Networks did not name a permanent replacement for the position of Chief Executive Officer.

The Company stated: “The AMC Networks Board of Directors is currently finalizing who it will name as a replacement, with an announcement to follow.”

No reason given

In the announcement, AMC Networks did not explicitly explain the reason for the move.

The three most common reasons given for CEO departures over the past 12 months are performance issues (24.7% of cases), reference to a planned succession (17.5%) 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 (3.4%) 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% of cases, no reason was given.

Precise information regarding Chris Spade’s future plans was not immediately available.

“Stepped down”

AMC Networks said: “AMC Networks (NASDAQ: AMCX) today announced that its Chief Executive Officer Christina Spade has stepped down from her role.”

AMC Networks further said: “On November 28, 2022, Christina Spade stepped down from her role as Chief Executive Officer of AMC Networks Inc. (the “Company”).”

Share price decline since September 2022

The announcement follows a decline in AMC Networks Inc.’s share price of 21% since September 2022. September 2022 is the month in which Spade’s tenure as CEO began.

In the position of CEO since 2022

Chris Spade became CEO of the Company in 2022.

Christina Spade has been Chief Executive Officer of AMC Networks, the global entertainment company known for its popular and award-winning content and respected brands.

Spade joined AMC Networks as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer in January 2021 and was soon promoted to a new dual role of Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer in November 2021. In this role she oversaw key business and financial operations as well as investor relations and global technology.

Spade has spent her career in media and entertainment. Previously she served as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer for the newly-combined ViacomCBS, overseeing all financial operations for the company. Prior to CBS and Viacom merging in December 2019, Spade was Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, CBS Corporation, from October 2018.

Before her role at CBS, Spade spent more than two decades at Showtime Networks Inc. serving in several capacities including as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Strategy. She was instrumental in the successful scaling of the Showtime OTT platform which launched in July 2015, and was the key financial architect of numerous real estate deals and transactions at Showtime. She also served as a member of the board for Smithsonian Channel™.

Prior to joining Showtime Networks, Spade was an audit manager with PricewaterhouseCoopers in the Entertainment, Media and Communications practice.

Spade is a director and the Audit Committee Chair for the board of LAMF Global Ventures Corp. I and is currently a member of the board of directors for the T. Howard Foundation. In addition, she founded and is president of ATR Children’s Foundation, which is a non-profit organization established to help children in need. Spade was selected as a 2017 WICT Wonder Woman and served as an executive mentor in WICT’s mentorship program.

At the time of Chris Spade’s appointment as Chief Executive Officer at AMC Networks, James Dolan, AMC Networks Chairman Mr. Dolan, had stated: “I’m delighted that Chris is taking over as our new CEO. She is a proven leader with a long track record driving transformative change in media and entertainment and I am confident she has the expertise and vision to guide AMC Networks to greater success.”

At the time of Chris Spade’s appointment as Chief Executive Officer at AMC Networks, Spade had said: “I am honored to assume the role of CEO. I’m a fan of this company in every respect, its content, brands, and most importantly, its people and dynamic and inclusive culture.”

No statement by Chris Spade

In the news release announcing her departure as CEO of AMC Networks Inc., Chris Spade received praise, thanks and good wishes.

A statement by Chris Spade is not included in the official leadership-change announcement.

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 or no explanations of their move, according to exechange data.

31% 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 320 CEO departures in the Russell 3000 Index evaluated over the past 12 months (November 29, 2021, to November 28, 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 31% 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 communication sector well above average

Some industries are under generally higher pressure than others, and CEOs are feeling the strain. In the past 12 months, the communication, consumer staples and health care 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 communication sector, which includes AMC Networks Inc., the average Push-out Score over the past 12 months was 6.8, which is well above the average.

In the communication sector, five 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.

Closer look at female CEOs

Female CEOs in the U.S. have been found to be more likely to be pushed out than male CEOs. Over the past 12 months, outgoing female CEOs have received an average Push-out Score of 6.1, substantially above the average Push-out Score of 5.4 for outgoing male CEOs.

Female CEOs have a 25% shorter tenure. Women in the role step down after an average tenure of 6.3 years, compared with 8.4 years for men, the exechange data shows, which covers 20 departing female CEOs and 300 departing male CEOs.

On a five-year view, departing female CEOs received an average Push-out Score of 5.8, which was significantly higher than the average Push-out Score of 5.3 for departing male CEOs. This suggests that women were more likely to be pushed out than men, even when using a longer observation period. This is evident from exechange data covering 1,403 CEO departures (84 of them women and 1,319 men) from 2017 to 2021. Female CEOs who announced their departure from 2017 to 2021 had a 26% shorter tenure, exiting after an average of 6.6 years, compared with 8.9 years for men, the exechange data shows.

Push-out Score for Chris Spade’s move determined

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

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

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