- After 16 years in the position
- Praise for Roney
- Jon Moramarco taking over temporarily
- Search for a successor
- Roney will remain as Executive Chairman at Vintage Wine
- Roney said 107 words
(exechange) — Incline Village, Nevada, February 8, 2023 — Pat Roney, chief executive of Vintage Wine, leaves his position. As announced by Vintage Wine Estates Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Wednesday, February 8, 2023, Patrick (Pat) Roney has left his post as chief executive officer at the wine producer, after 16 years in the role, effective February 7, 2023.
It is the end of an era.
The average tenure of CEOs who announced their departure over the past 12 months was 8.5 years. Around 15% of CEOs left their posts after more than 15 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.
Vintage Wine will undertake a search for a successor.
Pat Roney’s duties as CEO will be taken over temporarily by Jon Moramarco, a former Chief Executive Officer at Winebow Inc., as Interim Chief Executive Officer.
Already a director
Moramarco has already been a member of the board of directors of Vintage Wine. Generally speaking, most director-turned-CEO appointments occur following a sudden resignation of the outgoing CEO and signal a lack of preparedness on the company’s part to groom internal talent. Directors-turned-executives represent a blend of outsider and insider.
They don’t have the constraints of a pure insider when it comes to leading painful changes or making unpopular decisions, and they have more company knowledge than a pure outsider.
Having been a director, Moramarco understands the expectations and dynamics of the board and has knowledge of Vintage Wine’s organization, risk-management practices and strategy.
“Find the right talent”
Vintage Wine did not give an explicit reason for Pat Roney’s departure from the CEO post. Paul Walsh, Lead Independent Director, stated: “Pat successfully grew VWE over the last 20 plus years and we have greatly appreciated his contributions as we advanced VWE as a public company. We have mutually determined that his role as CEO has changed significantly since our IPO, adding a complex dimension to his responsibilities, and taking him from what he has truly enjoyed. It was critical that the Board make the necessary leadership changes to find the right talent to continue to execute our strategy while maintaining the years of institutional knowledge and industry relationships that Pat has to offer. As a result, we have implemented our succession plan and have begun a search for a new CEO.”
The top three reasons cited in corporate announcements for CEO departures over the past 12 months are performance issues (26.4% of cases), implementation of a planned succession (15.7%) and the statement that the time was right for a change (9.5%), according to exechange data. Other motives given for leadership changes included the outgoing CEO’s wish to pursue other opportunities (5.6% 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%), disagreement (1.2%), death (0.9%) and the desire for more time with family (0.6%). Sometimes, more than one reason was given. In 31.2% of cases, no reason was given.
Roney will remain as Executive Chairman at Vintage Wine
Vintage Wine stated: “Pat Roney, Founder of Vintage Wine Estates, has elected to transition from Chief Executive Officer to Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors. ”
Vintage Wine said: “Mr. Roney voluntarily elected to transition from Chief Executive Officer of the Company to Executive Chairman of the Board, effective February 7, 2023.”
Share price decline since February 2022
The announcement follows a decline in Vintage Wine Estates Inc.’s share price of 66% since February 2022.
In the position of CEO since 2007
Pat Roney became CEO of the Company in 2007.
Patrick Roney has served as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer and a director since June 2021.
Roney served as the Chief Executive Officer of Legacy VWE since its inception, having co-founded Legacy VWE in 2007 with the late Leslie Rudd.
Roney has spent his 30-plus year career in the wine, spirits, and food industries, beginning with his first job as a young sommelier at the legendary Pump Room in Chicago.
He has been hands-on in every aspect of the wine and spirits business—from production to sales and marketing, to finance and senior management, at some of the industry’s most important brands, including Seagram’s, Chateau St. Jean, Dean & Deluca and the Kunde Family Winery.
Roney’s idea to bring fine wine brand Girard together with a direct-to-consumer brand Windsor Vineyards, to form Vintage Wine Estates, illustrates his deep knowledge of market trends and consumer behaviors.
Roney models an entrepreneurial spirit and is dedicated to preserving the heritage of iconic wine brands while maintaining focus on the customer and innovative ideas.
He holds a B.S. degree from Northwestern University and an M.B.A. degree from Southern Illinois University.
107 words by Pat Roney
In the news release announcing his departure as CEO of Vintage Wine Estates Inc., Pat Roney received praise.
In announcing the leadership change, Pat Roney said 107 words.
“We have much to accomplish”
Pat Roney stated: “It has been an honor to lead such a remarkable team that has grown VWE over many years into a leading U.S. wine enterprise and made possible the vision of us becoming a publicly traded company. We believe that we have the business model which can deliver on growth and provide top-tier industry profitability, but we have much to accomplish to achieve these goals. Jon brings the skills to navigate through this plan and execute the changes needed to ensure our long-term health. Importantly, we believe we can generate the momentum needed for our next CEO to help us realize the strategic vision we have for VWE.”
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 510 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.
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 337 CEO departures in the Russell 3000 Index evaluated over the past 12 months (February 8, 2022, to February 7, 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 consumer staples 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, health care and consumer staples 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 staples sector, which includes Vintage Wine Estates Inc., the average Push-out Score over the past 12 months was 6.8, which is well above the critical threshold of 5.
In the consumer staples sector, eight 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 Pat Roney’s move determined
The Push-out Score regarding Pat Roney’s move is explained point by point in the exechange report.
exechange reached out to Vintage Wine and offered the company the opportunity to comment on the score.
Read the full story in the exechange report 7.2023 ($).