PRA CEO Kevin Stevenson leaves

  • After about six years in the position
  • Accolades, thanks and good wishes for Stevenson
  • Vik Atal taking over

(exechange) — Norfolk, Virginia, March 28, 2023 — Kevin Stevenson, chief executive of PRA, leaves his position. As announced by PRA Group Inc. in a news release published on Monday, March 27, 2023, and in a regulatory filing published on Tuesday, March 28, 2023, Kevin P. Stevenson leaves his post as chief executive officer at the specialist in acquiring and collecting nonperforming loans, after about six years in the role, effective immediately.

The average tenure of CEOs who announced their departure over the past 12 months was 8.1 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 Stevenson’s duties as CEO will be taken over by Vikram A. (Vik) Atal, a former executive at Citigroup, Inc.

Already a director

Atal has already been a member of the board of directors of PRA. Generally speaking, most director-turned-CEO appointments occur following a sudden resignation of the outgoing CEO and signal a lack of preparedness on the company’s part to groom internal talent. Directors-turned-executives represent a blend of outsider and insider.

They don’t have the constraints of a pure insider when it comes to leading painful changes or making unpopular decisions, and they have more company knowledge than a pure outsider.

Having been a director, Atal understands the expectations and dynamics of the board and has knowledge of PRA’s organization, risk-management practices and strategy.

“A deeply experienced, collaborative new leader”

PRA did not give an explicit reason for Kevin Stevenson’s departure from the CEO post. PRA Group Board Chair Steve Fredrickson stated: “We now look forward as we transition to a deeply experienced, collaborative new leader who is truly passionate about our company and our future.”

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 (10%), 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 (0.6%). Sometimes, more than one reason was given. In 28.4% of cases, no reason was given.

Precise information regarding Kevin Stevenson’s future plans was not immediately available.

“Leaving/termination without cause”

PRA said: “Mr. Atal replaces Kevin Stevenson, who has served as president and CEO since 2017 and is leaving the company.”

PRA further said: “On March 22, 2023, the Board of Directors (“Board”) of PRA Group, Inc. (the “Company”) approved the termination without cause of Kevin P. Stevenson’s employment as the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer effective March 27, 2023 consistent with the terms of the existing employment agreement between the Company and Mr. Stevenson (the “Stevenson Employment Agreement”).”

“Not the result of any dispute or disagreement”

PRA stated, regarding the change: “Mr. Stevenson’s termination was not the result of any dispute or disagreement with the Company or management, nor due to the Company’s recent settlement with the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”).”

Share price increase since March 2020

The announcement follows an increase in PRA Group Inc.’s share price of 3% since March 2020.

In the position of CEO since 2017

Kevin Stevenson became CEO of the Company in 2017.

Stevenson has served as the Company’s President and CEO since June 2017.

From August 2015 to June 2017, he served as the Company’s President and Chief Administrative Officer, having previously served as the Company’s Executive Vice President, Chief Financial and Administrative Officer, Treasurer and Assistant Secretary from 2002 to 2015.

Prior to co-founding the Company with Fredrickson in 1996, Stevenson held various positions with HRSC, including Controller, and Household Bank, where he served as the controller of a regional processing center and also managed the collections, technology, research and ATM departments.

While at Household Bank, he participated in numerous bank and branch acquisitions as well as divestitures. Stevenson is a certified public accountant (inactive).

No statement by Kevin Stevenson

In the news release announcing his departure as CEO of PRA Group Inc., Kevin Stevenson received accolades, thanks and good wishes.

The announcement of his departure as CEO does not include a statement by Kevin Stevenson.

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.

39% 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 28, 2022, to March 27, 2023), the average Push-out Score was 6.1, 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 39% 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 Kevin Stevenson’s move determined

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

Read the full story in the exechange report 14.2023 ($).