Aveanna CEO Tony Strange leaves

  • After about five years in the position
  • Praise for Strange
  • Jeff Shaner taking over
  • Strange said 65 words

(exechange) — Atlanta, Georgia, December 13, 2022 — Tony Strange, chief executive of Aveanna, leaves. As announced by Aveanna Healthcare Holdings Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Tuesday, December 13, 2022, Anthony H. (Tony) Strange, chief executive officer, leaves the provider of pediatric and adult healthcare services, after about five 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 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.

Tony Strange’s duties as CEO will be taken over by Jeffrey S. (Jeff) Shaner, currently Chief Operations Officer at Aveanna Healthcare Holdings Inc.

No reason given

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

The top three reasons cited in corporate announcements for CEO departures over the past 12 months are performance issues (26.2% of cases), implementation of a planned succession (16.5%) and the statement that the time was right for a change (8.5%), according to exechange data. Other motives given for leadership changes included the outgoing CEO’s wish to pursue other opportunities (6.7% of cases), personal reasons (3%) and conduct issues (2.4%). Rather rarely stated reasons are health problems (2.1% of cases), career change (2.1%), the desire for more time with family (0.9%), disagreement (0.6%) and death (0.6%). Sometimes, more than one reason was given. In 30.2% of cases, no reason was given.

Precise information regarding Tony Strange’s future plans was not immediately available.


Aveanna said: “Chief Executive Officer and Director, Tony Strange, is retiring and will depart the company effective December 31, 2022.”

Aveanna further said: “Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) and Director, Anthony H. Strange, is separating from employment with the Company, effective December 31, 2022.”

Generally, retirements are seen as formally voluntary departures. Still, CEOs may also be pressured to accelerate their retirement plans. In fact, 32% of the time “retire” was used in the past 12 months, the CEO departure received a Push-out Score above the critical threshold of 5, indicating elevated pressure.

Share price decline since December 2021

The announcement follows a decline in Aveanna Healthcare Holdings Inc.’s share price of 86% since December 2021.

In the position of CEO since 2017

Tony Strange became CEO of the Company in 2017.

Tony Strange, Chief Executive Officer and Director, joined Aveanna in 2017 upon its formation.

Prior to that, Strange served as president and chief executive officer of PSA from November 2015 to 2017.

Strange served as chief executive officer and a director of Gentiva from January 2009 until February 2015.

From 2001 to 2006, Strange served as president and chief operating officer of Healthfield.

Strange joined Healthfield in 1990 and served in other capacities, including regional manager, vice president of development and chief operating officer, until being named president in 2001.

Strange received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of South Carolina.

65 words by Tony Strange

In the news release announcing his departure as CEO of Aveanna Healthcare Holdings Inc., Tony Strange received praise.

In the announcement of the leadership change, Tony Strange said 65 words.

“Slowing down”

Tony Strange stated: “I am looking forward to slowing down and assisting Jeff with his transition. I have worked with Jeff for over 20 years both at Aveanna and other industry leading home-health companies. Jeff is ready to lead Aveanna into a new era of growth, innovation, and clinical value creation. I am thankful to all the Aveanna employees for the opportunity to have served as your CEO.”

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, excessively long 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. In contrast, leadership changes are statistically associated with low pressure when departing CEOs speak more about their successors than their successes.

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 328 CEO departures in the Russell 3000 Index evaluated over the past 12 months (December 13, 2021, to December 12, 2022), the average Push-out Score was 5.6, 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 health care sector well above 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, industrials and financials sectors, as measured by average Push-out Scores.

In the health care sector, which includes Aveanna Healthcare Holdings Inc., the average Push-out Score over the past 12 months was 6.5, which is well above the critical threshold of 5.

In the health care sector, 22 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 Tony Strange’s move determined

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

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

Read the full story in the exechange report 51.2022 ($).