- After less than three and a half years in the position
- Praise and thanks for Jennings
- Tim Go taking over
- Jennings said 62 words
(exechange) — Dallas, Texas, February 15, 2023 — Mike Jennings, chief executive of HF Sinclair, leaves his position. As announced by HF Sinclair Corp. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Wednesday, February 15, 2023, Michael C. (Mike) Jennings leaves his post as chief executive officer at the oil refiner, after less than three and a half years in the role, effective May 8, 2023.
The average tenure of CEOs who announced their departure over the past 12 months was 8.4 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.
Mike Jennings’s duties as CEO will be taken over by Tim Go, currently President and Chief Operating Officer at HF Sinclair Corp.
No reason given
In the announcement, HF Sinclair 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 (25.9% of cases), implementation of a planned succession (16.2%) and the statement that the time was right for a change (9.7%), 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 (3.2%) and conduct issues (2.1%). Rather rarely stated reasons are career change (2.1% of cases), health problems (1.8%), disagreement (1.2%), the desire for more time with family (0.9%) and death (0.9%). Sometimes, more than one reason was given. In 30.6% of cases, no reason was given.
Precise information regarding Mike Jennings’s future plans was not immediately available.
HF Sinclair said: “Mr. Go succeeds Michael C. Jennings, who currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of HF Sinclair and will continue serving in that role through May 8, 2023.”
HF Sinclair further said: “Mr. Go succeeds Michael C. Jennings, current Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation, who notified the Corporation on February 14, 2023 that he will retire from the position of Chief Executive Officer, effective May 8, 2023.”
Generally, retirements are seen as formally voluntary departures. Still, CEOs may also be pressured to accelerate their retirement plans. In fact, 34% of the time “retire” was used in CEO departure announcements over the past 12 months, the departing chief executives received Push-out Scores above the critical threshold of 5, indicating elevated pressure.
Share price increase since January 2020
The announcement follows an increase in HF Sinclair Corp.’s share price of 8% since January 2020. January 2020 is the month in which Jennings’s tenure as CEO began.
In the position of CEO since 2020
Mike Jennings became CEO of the Company in 2020.
In order to facilitate an orderly transition of the Chief Executive Officer duties from Jennings to Go, on February 15, 2023, HF Sinclair announced that Jennings was appointed to the position of Executive Vice President, Corporate of HF Sinclair, effective May 9, 2023, and is expected to serve in that role through his currently planned retirement date of November 9, 2023.
Following his retirement date, Jennings will provide consulting services to HF Sinclair until February 9, 2024.
Jennings, who currently serves as a non-independent director on the Board, will not stand for re-election at HF Sinclair’s 2023 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, at which time the size of the Board will be decreased by one to twelve.
Jennings continues to serve as Chairperson of the Board of Directors, Chief Executive Officer and President of Holly Logistic Services, L.L.C., the ultimate general partner of Holly Energy Partners, L.P.
Jennings has served as Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation since January 2020.
He also served as President of the Corporation from January 2020 to November 2021, as Executive Vice President of the Corporation from November 2019 to December 2019, as Executive Chairperson of the Corporation from January 2016 to January 2017 and as Chief Executive Officer and President of the Corporation from the merger of Holly Corporation (“Holly”) and Frontier Oil Corporation (“Frontier”) in July 2011 to January 2016.
He served as Chairperson of the Board of the Corporation from January 2017 to February 2019 and January 2013 to January 2016.
Jennings has served as Chief Executive Officer of Holly Logistic Services, L.L.C. (“HLS”), the general partner of the general partner of Holly Energy Partners, L.P., since January 2020.
He previously served as Chief Executive Officer of HLS from January 2014 to November 2016 and as President of HLS from October 2015 to February 2016.
Jennings served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Frontier from 2009 until the merger of Holly and Frontier in July 2011 and as the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Frontier from 2005 to 2009.
Jennings currently serves as a director of the Corporation and as a director and chairperson of the Board of HLS.
Jennings served as a director of FTS International, Inc. from January 2019 to November 2020, as a director and chairperson of the Board of Montage Resources and its predecessor entities from May 2016 to November 2019, and as a director of ION Geophysical Corporation from December 2010 to February 2019.
He served as chairperson of the board of directors of Frontier from 2010 until the merger in July 2011 and served as a director of Frontier from 2008 to July 2011.
62 words by Mike Jennings
In the news release announcing his departure as CEO of HF Sinclair Corp., Mike Jennings received praise and thanks.
In announcing the leadership change, Mike Jennings said 62 words.
“Has been instrumental in our recent growth”
Mike Jennings stated: “Tim is a key member of our senior management team and has been instrumental in our recent growth. Since joining the company in June 2020, Tim has provided great leadership for our refining and lubricants and specialty products segments. I look forward to Tim taking on the larger scope of the Chief Executive Officer role and leading the organization into the future.”
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 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 340 CEO departures in the Russell 3000 Index evaluated over the past 12 months (February 15, 2022, to February 14, 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 performance issues, time with family 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 energy sector somewhat 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 energy sector, which includes HF Sinclair Corp., the average Push-out Score over the past 12 months was 5.3, which is somewhat above the critical threshold of 5.
Push-out Score for Mike Jennings’s move determined
The Push-out Score regarding Mike Jennings’s move is explained point by point in the exechange report.
exechange reached out to HF Sinclair and offered the company the opportunity to comment on the score.
Read the full story in the exechange report 8.2023 ($).