Horizon Bancorp CEO Craig Dwight leaves post

  • After almost 22 years in the position
  • Accolades, praise and thanks for Dwight
  • Thomas Prame taking over
  • Dwight will remain as Chairman of the Board at Horizon Bancorp
  • Dwight spoke at length and said 158 words

(exechange) — Michigan City, Indiana, January 18, 2023 — Craig Dwight, chief executive of Horizon Bancorp, leaves his position. As announced by Horizon Bancorp Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Wednesday, January 18, 2023, Craig M. Dwight leaves his post as chief executive officer at the bank holding company for Horizon Bank, after almost 22 years in the role, effective June 1, 2023.

It is the end of an era.

The average tenure of CEOs who announced their departure over the past 12 months was 8.3 years. Around 7% of CEOs left their posts after more than 20 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.

Dwight leaves the company effective July 3, 2023.

Craig Dwight’s duties as CEO will be taken over by Thomas M. Prame, currently President at Horizon Bancorp Inc.

“Advance and enhance the Company’s strategies”

Horizon Bancorp did not give an explicit reason for Craig Dwight’s planned departure from the CEO post. Prame stated: “I am extremely grateful and humbled to be selected to lead this amazing organization, to advance and enhance the Company’s strategies and to continue the significant growth trajectory while providing banking solutions for the people and businesses in the communities we serve.”

The top three reasons cited in corporate announcements for CEO departures over the past 12 months are performance issues (27% of cases), implementation of a planned succession (16.1%) and the statement that the time was right for a change (8.8%), according to exechange data. Other motives given for leadership changes included the outgoing CEO’s wish to pursue other opportunities (5.9% of cases), personal reasons (2.9%) and conduct issues (2.3%). Rather rarely stated reasons are health problems (2.1% of cases), career change (2.1%), death (0.9%), the desire for more time with family (0.6%) and disagreement (0.6%). Sometimes, more than one reason was given. In 30.8% of cases, no reason was given.

Dwight will remain as Chairman of the Board at Horizon Bancorp

Horizon Bancorp stated: “Horizon Bancorp, Inc. (“Horizon”) (NASDAQ GS: HBNC) and Horizon Bank announced that Thomas M. Prame will be appointed the Chief Executive Officer of both organizations effective June 1, 2023.  Craig M. Dwight, will retain the title of Chief Executive Officer until June 1st and retire as an employee from Horizon and Horizon Bank effective July 3, 2023. Mr. Dwight will remain the Chairman of the Board of both organizations.  Prame will continue in his role as President of both organizations. ”


Horizon Bancorp said: “Craig M. Dwight, will retain the title of Chief Executive Officer until June 1st and retire as an employee from Horizon and Horizon Bank effective July 3, 2023.”

Generally, retirements are seen as formally voluntary departures. Still, CEOs may also be pressured to accelerate their retirement plans. In fact, 35% 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.

Share price increase since January 2013

The announcement follows an increase in Horizon Bancorp Inc.’s share price of 72% since January 2013.

In the position of CEO since 2001

Craig Dwight became CEO of the Company in 2001.

Since July 1, 2013, Dwight has held the position of Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Horizon.

He has served as the Chief Executive Officer of Horizon and Horizon Bank since July 1, 2001.

Prior to that, he was the President and Chief Administrative Officer of Horizon and the Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Horizon Bank commencing in December 1998.

He has over 41 years of banking experience, including experience as a senior credit officer, senior commercial loan officer, branch manager, human resources director, and chief executive officer.

He has a business degree with a concentration in accounting.

Dwight has served on Horizon’s Board of Directors and the Board of Directors of Horizon Bank since 1998.

158 words by Craig Dwight

In the news release announcing his departure as CEO of Horizon Bancorp Inc., Craig Dwight received accolades, praise and thanks.

In announcing the leadership change, Craig Dwight spoke at length and said 158 words.

“Amazing journey”

Craig Dwight stated: “I congratulate Thomas on his appointment and look forward to continuing to work closely with him during the transition. Since he joined Horizon last August, he has played a significant role in advancing many of the operational and strategic initiatives at Horizon. It has been an honor and a privilege for me to lead Horizon and Horizon Bank over these past twenty-five years and to be associated with such an outstanding team. I am very grateful for the opportunity to have led this organization and all the support that I have received throughout my tenure. It has been an amazing journey and I am very proud of the significant growth and success that our team has achieved over the years. Given Horizon’s current diverse and exceptional talent, I am excited about the future of the Company and the incredible energy from our team that will continue to propel the Company to the next level of performance and growth.”

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 108 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.

34% 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 341 CEO departures in the Russell 3000 Index evaluated over the past 12 months (January 18, 2022, to January 17, 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 time with family, performance issues or other opportunities were cited as departure reasons, the average Push-out Scores were also significantly elevated.

Around 34% 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, one in three 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 consumer staples, communication 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 financials sector, which includes Horizon Bancorp Inc., 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 Craig Dwight’s move determined

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

Read the full story in the exechange report 4.2023 ($).