REV CEO Rod Rushing leaves

  • After less than three years in the position
  • Praise, thanks and good wishes for Rushing
  • Mark Skonieczny taking over temporarily

(exechange) — Milwaukee, Wisconsin, January 30, 2023 — Rod Rushing, chief executive of REV, leaves his position — as “mutually agreed.” As announced by REV Group Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Monday, January 30, 2023, Rodney N. (Rod) Rushing has left his post as chief executive officer at the manufacturer of specialty vehicles, after less than three years in the role, effective January 26, 2023.

The average tenure of CEOs who announced their departure over the past 12 months was 8.5 years. Around 24% of CEOs left their posts within three 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.

Rod Rushing’s duties as CEO will be taken over temporarily by Mark A. Skonieczny, most recently Chief Financial Officer at REV Group Inc., as Interim Chief Executive Officer.

“Accelerate its transformation”

REV did not give an explicit reason for Rod Rushing’s departure from the CEO post. Paul Bamatter, Chairman of REV Group’s Board of Directors, stated: “Mark has been a valuable member of the REV leadership team since joining the company in June 2020. The Board is confident that his extensive experience, existing deep knowledge of the REV business, and operational experience will further enable REV to accelerate its transformation.”

The top three reasons cited in corporate announcements for CEO departures over the past 12 months are performance issues (27.2% of cases), implementation of a planned succession (15.6%) and the statement that the time was right for a change (9.3%), according to exechange data. Other motives given for leadership changes included the outgoing CEO’s wish to pursue other opportunities (5.7% of cases), personal reasons (3%) and conduct issues (2.1%). Rather rarely stated reasons are career change (2.1% of cases), health problems (1.8%), death (0.9%), the desire for more time with family (0.6%) and disagreement (0.6%). Sometimes, more than one reason was given. In 31.1% of cases, no reason was given.

Precise information regarding Rod Rushing’s future plans was not immediately available.

“Stepped down/removal”

REV said: “Rod Rushing has stepped down as President and Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the Board of Directors.”

REV further said: “The board of directors (the “Board”) of REV Group, Inc. (the “Company”) and Rodney Rushing mutually agreed that Mr. Rushing’s employment as President and Chief Executive Officer would terminate effective January 26, 2023. In connection with his separation of employment with the Company and removal as President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Rushing resigned from the Board.”

Share price increase since March 2020

The announcement follows an increase in REV Group Inc.’s share price of 58% since March 2020. March 2020 is the month in which Rushing’s tenure as CEO began.

In the position of CEO since 2020

Rod Rushing became CEO of the Company in 2020.

Rushing has served on the Company’s board of directors since he joined REV Group as Chief Executive Officer in March 2020.

Prior to joining REV Group, Rushing most recently served as President, Building Solutions North America of Johnson Controls Inc., a $9 billion revenue business with 30,000 employees.

Over the course of 30 years with Johnson Controls Inc., Rushing demonstrated results-oriented leadership in leading both product and service businesses within the Johnson Controls Inc. portfolio.

Rushing’s experience and history of accomplishments spans sales and distribution management, engineering, product development, operations and M&A, and more than 20 years of P&L management.

Rushing holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology and a MBA from Southern Illinois University.

At the time of Rod Rushing’s appointment as Chief Executive Officer at REV, Paul Bamatter, chairman of the board, had stated: “The board is confident we’ve selected the ideal next leader of REV Group in Rod. He has a proven track record of delivering high-quality performance through organizational development, financial acuity, commercial excellence, and operational discipline. We were impressed with Rod as a leader, his strategic approach to managing business drivers, and his ability to align resources to achieve results and deliver shareholder value.”

No statement by Rod Rushing

In the news release announcing his departure as CEO of REV Group Inc., Rod Rushing received praise, thanks and good wishes.

The announcement of his departure as CEO does not include a statement by Rod Rushing.

Over the past 12 months, 25% 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 510 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.

35% 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 334 CEO departures in the Russell 3000 Index evaluated over the past 12 months (January 30, 2022, to January 29, 2023), the average Push-out Score was 5.8, 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 35% 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 industrials 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, utilities and financials sectors, as measured by average Push-out Scores.

In the industrials sector, which includes REV Group Inc., the average Push-out Score over the past 12 months was 4.5, 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 industrials sector, nine 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 Rod Rushing’s move determined

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

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

Read the full story in the exechange report 6.2023 ($).