Centerspace CEO Mark Decker leaves

  • After about six years in the position
  • Praise and thanks for Decker
  • Anne Olson taking over

(exechange) — Minneapolis, Minnesota, March 23, 2023 — Mark Decker, chief executive of Centerspace, leaves his position — by “mutual agreement.” As announced by Centerspace Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Thursday, March 23, 2023, Mark O. Decker leaves his post as chief executive officer at the real estate investment trust, after about six years in the role, effective March 31, 2023.

The average tenure of CEOs who announced their departure over the past 12 months was 8 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.

Mark Decker’s duties as CEO will be taken over by Anne Olson, currently Chief Operating Officer at Centerspace Inc.

“Improve portfolio quality and balance sheet strength”

Centerspace did not give an explicit reason for Mark Decker’s departure from the CEO post. John Schissel, Chairman of the Company’s Board of Directors, stated: “Centerspace’s focus on operations and portfolio repositioning will continue our ongoing efforts to improve portfolio quality and balance sheet strength as demonstrated by the recent closing of $144 million of non-core asset sales.”

The top three reasons cited in corporate announcements for CEO departures over the past 12 months are performance issues (27.8% of cases), implementation of a planned succession (16.6%) 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 (3.8%) and conduct issues (2.2%). Rather rarely stated reasons are health problems (1.6% of cases), disagreement (1.3%), death (1.3%), the desire for more time with family (0.9%) and career change (0.9%). Sometimes, more than one reason was given. In 28.4% of cases, no reason was given.

Precise information regarding Mark Decker’s future plans was not immediately available.


Centerspace said: “Centerspace, Inc. (NYSE:CSR) announced today the transition of Mark Decker, Jr., the Company’s President and CEO since 2017.”

Centerspace further said: “On March 23, 2023, the Company and Mark. [sic!] O. Decker, Jr. reached a mutual agreement for Mr. Decker to separate from his position of President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, effective March 31, 2023.”

Share price decline since March 2022

The announcement follows a decline in Centerspace Inc.’s share price of 45% since March 2022.

In the position of CEO since 2017

Mark Decker became CEO of the Company in 2017.

Decker will continue to serve on the Company’s Board of Directors through the end of his current term in May and will remain an advisor to the Company during that time to ensure a smooth transition.

Mark O. Decker, Jr. has served as a trustee of the Company since April 27, 2017 and has been employed by the Company since August 5, 2016.

Decker has been the Company’s President and Chief Investment Officer since August 5, 2016 and was appointed as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer on April 27, 2017.

For the two decades prior to joining Centerspace, Decker was an investment banker and spent the majority of that time serving the real estate industry as a senior banker at several firms with a focus on growth and transformational transactions for public real estate owner/operators, lodging companies and real estate services firms.

Immediately prior to joining the Company Decker served as the Managing Director and U.S. Group Head of Real Estate Investment and Corporate Banking at BMO Capital Markets.

Decker received a Bachelor’s degree in History from the College of William & Mary.

In addition, Decker is a Trustee for Alpine Income Property Trust (NYSE:PINE) and is actively involved with several industry groups including the National Multifamily Housing Council, Urban Land Institute, and Nareit.

No statement by Mark Decker

In the news release announcing his departure as CEO of Centerspace Inc., Mark Decker received praise and thanks.

The announcement of his departure as CEO does not include a statement by Mark Decker.

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 109 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.

38% 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 320 CEO departures in the Russell 3000 Index evaluated over the past 12 months (March 23, 2022, to March 22, 2023), the average Push-out Score was 6, 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 personal reasons were cited as departure reasons, the average Push-out Scores were also significantly elevated.

Around 38% 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, three in eight departing CEOs were forced out or fired.

Push-out Score for Mark Decker’s move determined

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

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

Read the full story in the exechange report 13.2023 ($).