Usana CEO Kevin Guest leaves post

  • After almost eight years in the position
  • Praise and thanks for Guest
  • Jim Brown taking over
  • Guest will remain as Executive Chairman at Usana
  • Guest spoke at length and said 142 words

(exechange) — Salt Lake City, Utah, February 13, 2023 — Kevin Guest, chief executive of Usana, leaves his position. As announced by Usana Health Sciences Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Monday, February 13, 2023, Kevin G. Guest leaves his post as chief executive officer at the maker of nutritional supplements and personal care products, after almost eight years in the role, effective July 1, 2023.

The average tenure of CEOs who announced their departure over the past 12 months was 8.5 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.

Kevin Guest’s duties as CEO will be taken over by Jim Brown, currently President at Usana Health Sciences Inc.

“Planned succession strategy”

Kevin Guest’s planned departure from the CEO post is explained as follows. Usana stated: “[C]onsistent with the Company’s planned succession strategy, Kevin Guest, Usana’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) since 2015 and Chairman of the Board since 2020, will transition to the role of Executive Chairman of the Company, effective July 1, 2023.”

The top three reasons cited in corporate announcements for CEO departures over the past 12 months are performance issues (26.1% of cases), implementation of a planned succession (16%) 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 (3.3%) 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 30.9% of cases, no reason was given.


Usana said: “Mr. Brown will succeed Kevin Guest, who will transition to Executive Chairman of the Company on the Effective Date [July 1, 2023].”

Share price decline since February 2018

The announcement follows a decline in Usana Health Sciences Inc.’s share price of 18% since February 2018.

In the position of CEO since 2015

Kevin Guest became CEO of the Company in 2015.

Guest has served as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer since May 2020.

Prior to that he served as Chief Executive Officer from November 2016 to May 2020, and as Co-Chief Executive Officer from August 2015 to November 2016.

Guest served as President of the Company from August 2014 to August 2015 and in various other management positions at the Company prior to 2014.

142 words by Kevin Guest

In the news release announcing his departure as CEO of Usana Health Sciences Inc., Kevin Guest received praise and thanks.

In announcing the leadership change, Kevin Guest spoke at length and said 142 words.

“Dedication, judgment and passion”

Kevin Guest stated: “It has been my great privilege to be part of Usana for over 30 years and to serve as CEO of this remarkable company for the last 8 years. I express my sincere appreciation for, and confidence in, Usana’s extraordinary management team, employees and Associates for their relentless work in advancing Usana’s position as one of the foremost leaders in health and wellness. I look forward to my new role as Executive Chairman of the Company, where I will continue to be deeply involved in setting and advancing the Company’s strategy and mission… I have worked closely with Jim for most of my career at Usana, and have learned and benefitted from his extraordinary dedication, judgment and passion for Usana’s business and mission. The Board and I have full confidence in his ability to lead Usana into its next chapter of 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 110 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 13, 2022, to February 12, 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 Usana Health Sciences Inc., the average Push-out Score over the past 12 months was 6.9, which is well above the critical threshold of 5.

In the consumer staples 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 Kevin Guest’s move determined

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

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

Read the full story in the exechange report 8.2023 ($).