Chimera CEO Mo Marria leaves

  • After less than two years in the position
  • Praise, thanks and good wishes for Marria
  • Phil Kardis taking over

(exechange) — New York, December 12, 2022 — Mo Marria, chief executive of Chimera, leaves. As announced by Chimera Investment Corp. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Monday, December 12, 2022, Mohit (Mo) Marria, chief executive officer, has left the Real Estate Investment Trust, after less than two years in the role, effective December 10, 2022.

The average tenure of CEOs who announced their departure over the past 12 months was 8.3 years. Around 12% of CEOs left their posts within two years. This is according to data collected by CEO-exit 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.

Mo Marria’s duties as CEO will be taken over by Phillip J. (Phil) Kardis, most recently Chief Legal Officer and Secretary at Chimera Investment Corp.

Mo Marria’s move coincides with a management shake-up also involving the positions of Co-Chief Investment Officers.

“To strengthen the Company’s performance”

Chimera did not give an explicit reason for Mo Marria’s departure from the CEO post. Chimera said: “Chimera Investment Corporation (“Chimera” or the “Company”) (NYSE:CIM) today announced leadership changes intended to strengthen the Company’s performance, and position the Company to navigate changing market dynamics.”

The top three reasons cited in corporate announcements for CEO departures over the past 12 months are performance issues (25.6% of cases), implementation of a planned succession (16.7%) and the statement that the time was right for a change (8.6%), according to exechange data. Other motives given for leadership changes included the outgoing CEO’s wish to pursue other opportunities (6.5% of cases), personal reasons (3.1%) and conduct issues (2.5%). Rather rarely stated reasons are health problems (2.2% of cases), career change (2.2%), the desire for more time with family (0.9%), disagreement (0.6%) and death (0.6%). Sometimes, more than one reason was given. In 30.6% of cases, no reason was given.

Precise information regarding Mo Marria’s future plans was not immediately available.

“Stepped down/separate”

Chimera said: “Mr. Kardis succeeds Chief Executive Officer, Chief Investment Officer and Director Mohit Marria, who has stepped down from the Company and the Board, effective immediately.”

Chimera further said: “On December 10, 2022, it was determined that Mr. Marria will separate from employment with the Company as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) and Chief Investment Officer (“CIO”), effective December 10, 2022. Additionally, Mr. Marria resigned from the Company’s Board of Directors (the “Board”), effective December 10, 2022.”

“Not a result of any disagreement”

Chimera stated, regarding the change: “Mr. Marria’s separation was not a result of any disagreement with the Company on any matter relating to its operations, policies, or practices, or to any issues regarding its accounting policies or practices.”

Share price decline since December 2021

The announcement follows a decline in Chimera Investment Corp.’s share price of 57% since December 2021.

In the position of CEO since 2021

Mo Marria became CEO of the Company in 2021.

Mohit Marria joined the Company’s Board on November 16, 2020.

Marria was the Company’s Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer.

Prior to becoming Chief Investment Officer in December 2013, Marria was an Executive Vice President of Annaly.

While at Annaly, Marria had responsibility for the development and implementation of Chimera’s trading strategies in residential mortgage-backed securities, residential mortgage loans and its derivatives portfolio.

He has been a member of the investment team since Chimera’s inception.

Marria joined Annaly from American International Group (AIG).

Prior to working at AIG, Marria worked at Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.

Marria earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and an M.B.A., each from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey.

At the time of Mo Marria’s appointment as Chief Executive Officer at Chimera, Paul Donlin, then Chairman of the Board, had stated: “Mo has been a proven leader in his previous roles with the Company, particularly during the turmoil created by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are excited for the direction Mo will take us.”

At the time of his appointment as Chief Executive Officer at Chimera, Marria had stated: “I’m thankful for the opportunity to lead the Company, and excited for what we can achieve together. I look forward to working with the rest of the management team and the Board to seek value for our shareholders.”

No statement by Mo Marria

In the news release announcing his departure as CEO of Chimera Investment Corp., Mo Marria received praise, thanks and good wishes.

The announcement of the leadership change does not include a statement by Mo Marria.

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 109 words. The longest statement was 382 words. The shortest statement was 23 words. Leadership transitions in which departing CEOs provide conspicuously short or no explanations for their move are statistically associated with elevated pressure and show an increased incidence of Push-out Scores above the critical threshold of 5, according to exechange data.

32% 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, with 0 being most likely a voluntary move and 10 being most likely a forced exit. Anything over a 5 indicates that there are valid reasons to believe an executive may have been pushed out.

Of the 324 CEO departures in the Russell 3000 Index evaluated over the past 12 months (December 12, 2021, to December 11, 2022), the average Push-out Score was 5.5, 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 other opportunities were cited as departure reasons, the average Push-out Scores were also significantly elevated.

Around 32% 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 or fired.

Pressure in the financials sector substantially below the critical threshold

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, financials and industrials sectors, as measured by average Push-out Scores.

In the financials sector, which includes Chimera Investment Corp., the average Push-out Score over the past 12 months was 4.3, which is substantially below the critical threshold of 5.

Nevertheless, even in this sector, some CEOs were compelled to leave their posts under what appeared to be severe stress. In the financials sector, 11 exiting CEOs received Push-out Scores of 8 or higher over the past 12 months, indicating that they were most likely forced out or faced strong pressure to step down.

Push-out Score for Mo Marria’s move determined

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

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