- After less than three years in the position
- Ashish Chand taking over
(exechange) — St. Louis, Missouri, February 23, 2023 — Roel Vestjens, chief executive of Belden, leaves his position. As announced by Belden Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Thursday, February 23, 2023, Roel Vestjens has left his post as chief executive officer at the supplier of network infrastructure products, after less than three years in the role, effective February 22, 2023.
The average tenure of CEOs who announced their departure over the past 12 months was 8.5 years. Around 23% 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.
Roel Vestjens’s duties as CEO will be taken over by Ashish Chand, most recently Executive Vice President, Industrial Automation at Belden Inc.
Roel Vestjens’s departure from the CEO post is explained as follows. Belden stated: “Dr. Chand succeeds Roel Vestjens, who has resigned from his position as President and Chief Executive Officer and as a member of Belden’s Board of Directors for personal reasons. Mr. Vestjens’ resignation is unrelated to Belden’s strategy, operations, financial reporting, or any other matter related to the performance of the Company.”
The top three reasons cited in corporate announcements for CEO departures over the past 12 months are performance issues (26.2% of cases), implementation of a planned succession (16.4%) and the statement that the time was right for a change (9.8%), 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 (3.3%) 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 29.8% of cases, no reason was given.
Precise information regarding Roel Vestjens’s future plans was not immediately available.
Belden said: “Dr. Chand succeeds Roel Vestjens, who resigned as President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board, effective as of February 22, 2023.”
Generally, resignations are seen as formally voluntary departures. Still, CEOs may also be pressured to resign. In fact, 76% of the time “resign” 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 May 2020
The announcement follows an increase in Belden Inc.’s share price of 162% since May 2020. May 2020 is the month in which Vestjens’s tenure as CEO began.
In the position of CEO since 2020
Roel Vestjens became CEO of the Company in 2020.
Vestjens was appointed President, Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board effective May 21, 2020.
Vestjens joined Belden in 2006 as Director of Marketing for the EMEA region.
Since then, he has held roles of increasing responsibility in sales and marketing, operations, and general management of Belden’s business units in North America, EMEA, and APAC.
Most recently, he served as the Company’s Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President, Industrial Solutions from July 2019 until his appointment as President and CEO in May 2020, and Executive Vice President, Industrial Solutions and Broadcast IT Solutions from January 2017 to February 2018.
Vestjens joined Belden from Royal Philips Electronics where he held various European sales and marketing positions.
Vestjens holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master of Science degree in Management from Nyenrode Business University in the Netherlands.
No statement by Roel Vestjens
The announcement of his departure as CEO does not include a statement by Roel Vestjens.
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 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.
36% 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 336 CEO departures in the Russell 3000 Index evaluated over the past 12 months (February 23, 2022, to February 22, 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 36% 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 Belden Inc., the average Push-out Score over the past 12 months was 6, 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 Roel Vestjens’s move determined
The Push-out Score regarding Roel Vestjens’s move is explained point by point in the exechange report.
exechange reached out to Belden and offered the company the opportunity to comment on the score.
Read the full story in the exechange report 9.2023 ($).