Udemy CEO Gregg Coccari leaves

  • After about four years in the position
  • Praise, thanks and good wishes for Coccari
  • Greg Brown taking over
  • Coccari said 77 words

(exechange) — San Francisco, California, January 9, 2023 — Gregg Coccari, chief executive of Udemy, leaves his position. As announced by Udemy Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Monday, January 9, 2023, Gregg Coccari leaves his post as chief executive officer at the online learning and teaching marketplace, after about four years in the role, effective February 28, 2023.

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.

Gregg Coccari’s duties as CEO will be taken over by Gregory (Greg) Brown, currently President of the Business unit at Udemy Inc.

No reason given

In the announcement, Udemy 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 (26.6% of cases), implementation of a planned succession (16.4%) and the statement that the time was right for a change (8.4%), according to exechange data. Other motives given for leadership changes included the outgoing CEO’s wish to pursue other opportunities (6.3% 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%), death (0.9%) and disagreement (0.6%). Sometimes, more than one reason was given. In 30.4% of cases, no reason was given.

Precise information regarding Gregg Coccari’s future plans was not immediately available.


Udemy said: “Gregg Coccari will retire from his position as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chairman of the Board, effective February 28, 2023.”

Udemy further said: “On January 4, 2023, Gregg Coccari notified the Board of Directors (the “Board”) of the Company of his intention to retire from his role as the Company’s President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board and to resign as a member of the Board, in each case effective as of February 28, 2023.”

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 CEO departure announcements over the past 12 months, the departing chief executive received a Push-out Score above the critical threshold of 5, indicating elevated pressure.

“Not related to any disagreement”

Udemy stated, regarding the change: “Mr. Coccari’s departure is not related to any disagreement on matters regarding the Company’s operations, policies or practices.”

Share price decline since November 2021

The announcement follows a decline in Udemy Inc.’s share price of 62% since November 2021.

In the position of CEO since 2019

Gregg Coccari became CEO of the Company in 2019.

Gregg Coccari has served as the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the Company’s board of directors since February 2019, and as the Company’s Chairperson of the Board of Directors since May 2021.

From November 2015 to March 2017, Coccari served as Chief Executive Officer of Stella & Chewy’s, a pet food company specializing in raw, natural pet foods, before pursuing non-professional interests from April 2017 to January 2019.

Before Stella & Chewy’s, Coccari served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Futuredontics, a provider of dental marketing services and software, from 2010 to 2012, as President and Chief Executive Officer of NetQuote, an online insurance quote marketplace, from 2006 to 2009, and as President and Chief Executive Officer of Teleflora, an online flower delivery network, from 1992 to 2004.

Coccari received a B.S. in psychology from Colgate University and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

77 words by Gregg Coccari

In the news release announcing his departure as CEO of Udemy Inc., Gregg Coccari received praise, thanks and good wishes.

In the announcement of the leadership change, Gregg Coccari said 77 words.

“Continued success”

Gregg Coccari stated: “It has been a privilege to serve as Udemy’s CEO for the past four years. We have accomplished so much during that time. I know I leave this business with a strong bench of talent who will thrive under Greg Brown’s dynamic and impactful leadership. Thank you to the Board, Udemy leadership and all of our global employees for making this such a wonderful experience. I look forward to watching Udemy’s continued success in its next chapter.”

Over the past 12 months, 27% 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.

33% 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 335 CEO departures in the Russell 3000 Index evaluated over the past 12 months (January 9, 2022, to January 8, 2023), the average Push-out Score was 5.7, according to exechange data. References to conduct issues, disagreements and irregularities lead to the highest Push-out Scores. When performance issues, time with family or other opportunities were cited as departure reasons, the average Push-out Scores were also significantly elevated.

Around 33% 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 consumer discretionary 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, utilities and financials sectors, as measured by average Push-out Scores.

In the consumer discretionary sector, which includes Udemy Inc., the average Push-out Score over the past 12 months was 6.3, which is well above the critical threshold of 5.

In the consumer discretionary sector, 21 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 Gregg Coccari’s move determined

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

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

Read the full story in the exechange report 3.2023 ($).