Blue Bird CEO Matt Stevenson leaves

  • After about a year and a half in the position
  • Phil Horlock taking over

(exechange) — Macon, Georgia, May 15, 2023 — Matt Stevenson, chief executive of Blue Bird, leaves his position. As announced by Blue Bird Corp. in a news release on Monday, May 15, 2023, Matthew (Matt) Stevenson leaves his post as chief executive officer at the school bus manufacturer, after about a year and a half in the role, effective immediately.

Matt Stevenson’s duties as CEO will be taken over by Philip (Phil) Horlock, a former Chief Executive Officer at Blue Bird Corp.

It is a reverse generational change. Phil Horlock is about 21 years older than Matt Stevenson.

“Personal reasons”

The management change is explained as follows. Blue Bird stated: “Matthew Stevenson, President and CEO of Blue Bird Corporation, is leaving the Company for personal reasons. Mr. Stevenson has also exited his position on the Board of Directors.”

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

Share price increase since November 2021

The announcement follows an increase in Blue Bird Corp.’s share price of 24% since November 2021. November 2021 is the month in which Stevenson’s tenure as CEO began.

In the position of CEO since 2021

Matt Stevenson became CEO of the Company in 2021.

Matthew Stevenson has been a Class II director of the Company since November 1, 2021.

Stevenson was appointed President of the Company effective July 1, 2021, and was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company effective November 1, 2021.

Stevenson has held various roles during his 20-plus year career in the commercial vehicle industry.

From 2020 until he joined the Company, he served as an independent advisor for the public company Hyliion, Inc. in the commercial vehicle electric powertrain market, as well as private equity firms in the consumer services space.

He also founded and, from 2020 until he joined the Company, served as a board member of a portfolio company, National Pool Partners GP Inc., backed by Imperial Capital Group Ltd., a mid-market private equity firm specializing in consumer services and distributed workforce companies.

From 2017 through 2019, Stevenson served as President of Terminix Residential, the largest subsidiary of ServiceMaster Global Holdings, Inc., a Fortune 1000 Company providing a variety of residential and commercial services.

From 2016 through 2017, Stevenson served as President and General Manager of Meritor WABCO, a leading provider of brake and safety components for truck and trailer manufacturers. Prior to that, Stevenson held executive leadership roles at Bridgestone Americas, Inc., Meritor, Inc., and Daimler Trucks North America, Inc.

Stevenson holds a B.S. degree in Management with Marketing Concentration from Kettering University and an M.B.A. degree from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.

No statement by Matt Stevenson

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

40% 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 316 CEO departures in the Russell 3000 Index evaluated over the past 12 months (May 15, 2022, to May 14, 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, pursuit of other opportunities or time with family were cited as departure reasons, the average Push-out Scores were also significantly elevated.

Around 40% 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, two in five departing CEOs were forced out or fired.

Push-out Score for Matt Stevenson’s move determined

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

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

Read the full story in the exechange report 21.2023 ($).