Cass CEO Eric Brunngraber leaves post

  • After around 15 years in the position
  • Praise and thanks for Brunngraber
  • Martin Resch taking over
  • Brunngraber will remain as Executive Chairman at Cass
  • Brunngraber said 95 words

(exechange) — St. Louis, Missouri, February 17, 2023 — Eric Brunngraber, chief executive of Cass, leaves his position. As announced by Cass Information Systems Inc. in a news release on Friday, February 17, 2023, Eric H. Brunngraber leaves his post as chief executive officer at the provider of invoice payment and information services, after around 15 years in the role, effective April 18, 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.

Eric Brunngraber’s duties as CEO will be taken over by Martin Resch, currently President and Chief Operating Officer at Cass Information Systems Inc.

No reason given

In the announcement, Cass 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 (16.5%) 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 30.3% of cases, no reason was given.

Brunngraber will remain as Executive Chairman at Cass

Cass stated: “Brunngraber, who has served as CEO since 2008, will become Executive Chairman, effective April 18, 2023. ”


Cass said: “Resch, 57, has been Cass’s President and Chief Operating Officer since February 2022 and will succeed Eric Brunngraber, 66, in the role of CEO.”

Share price increase since February 2018

The announcement follows an increase in Cass Information Systems Inc.’s share price of 3% since February 2018.

In the position of CEO since 2008

Eric Brunngraber became CEO of the Company in 2008.

Eric H. Brunngraber has been a director since 2003.

Brunngraber is Chairman and CEO of the Company, positions he has held since 2015 and 2008, respectively.

Brunngraber has served in several executive and numerous other positions with the Company since his employment with Cass began in 1979, including as President from 2006 to January 2022, Chief Operating Officer (COO) from 2006 to 2008, CFO from 1997 to 2006, and Executive Vice President of Cass Commercial Bank, the Company’s bank subsidiary.

Brunngraber is and has been active in various civic, charitable, and professional organizations in the St. Louis metropolitan area, including the Regional Business Council and the American Diabetes Association – Community Leadership Board.

95 words by Eric Brunngraber

In the news release announcing his departure as CEO of Cass Information Systems Inc., Eric Brunngraber received praise and thanks.

In announcing the leadership change, Eric Brunngraber said 95 words.

“Lead Cass to continued success”

Eric Brunngraber stated: “Martin has proven to be an outstanding leader at Cass, implementing many strategic objectives within our invoice payment and information services business. The Board of Directors and I have the utmost confidence in Martin’s ability to lead Cass to continued success. Cass has been a huge part of my life for 43 years and I have been honored to be its CEO for the last 15 years. I look forward to supporting Martin and the entire Cass team as we continue to lead our industry and position ourselves for success for many years to come.”

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 17, 2022, to February 16, 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 information technology 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 information technology sector, which includes Cass Information Systems Inc., the average Push-out Score over the past 12 months was 6.1, which is well above the critical threshold of 5.

In the information technology sector, 19 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 Eric Brunngraber’s move determined

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

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

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