Lazard CEO Ken Jacobs leaves post

  • After almost 14 years in the position
  • Praise and thanks for Jacobs
  • Peter Orszag taking over
  • Jacobs will remain as Executive Chairman at Lazard
  • Jacobs said 99 words

(exechange) — New York, May 26, 2023 — Ken Jacobs, chief executive of Lazard, leaves his position. As announced by Lazard Ltd. in a news release on Friday, May 26, 2023, Kenneth M. (Ken) Jacobs leaves his post as chief executive officer at the investment bank, after almost 14 years in the role, effective October 1, 2023.

Ken Jacobs’s duties as CEO will be taken over by Peter R. Orszag, currently CEO of Financial Advisory at Lazard Ltd.

No reason given

In the announcement, Lazard did not explicitly explain the reason for the move.

Jacobs will remain as Executive Chairman at Lazard

Lazard stated: “Peter R. Orszag, currently CEO of Financial Advisory at Lazard, has been unanimously elected by its Board to serve as CEO of Lazard and as a Board Director. Kenneth M. Jacobs, Chairman and CEO of Lazard, will serve as Executive Chairman of the Board and will continue to advise clients on strategic financial matters. These changes will take effect October 1, 2023.”

Share price decline since November 2009

The announcement follows a decline in Lazard Ltd.’s share price of 26% since November 2009. November 2009 is the month in which Jacobs’s tenure as CEO began.

In the position of CEO since 2009

Ken Jacobs became CEO of the Company in 2009.

Kenneth M. Jacobs has served as Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of Lazard Ltd and Lazard Group since November 2009.

Jacobs has served as a Managing Director of Lazard since 1991 and had been a Deputy Chairman of Lazard from January 2002 until November 2009.

Jacobs also served as Chief Executive Officer of Lazard North America from January 2002 until November 2009.

Jacobs initially joined Lazard in 1988.

Jacobs is a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Chicago and the Brookings Institution.

Jacobs earned an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics at the University of Chicago.

99 words by Ken Jacobs

In the news release announcing his departure as CEO of Lazard Ltd., Ken Jacobs received praise and thanks.

In announcing his departure, Ken Jacobs said 99 words.

“Peter is the right choice”

Ken Jacobs stated: “It has been the highlight of my professional career to lead Lazard for the past 14 years and an honor to have worked with such a talented and dedicated global team during my tenure. I look forward to continuing to work alongside the Board, Peter, Evan and the leadership team, as well as with Lazard colleagues on client business around the world. Our 175-year legacy speaks to our best-in-class people and our commitment to excellence in all that we do. I believe strongly that Peter is the right choice as CEO for Lazard’s next chapter in its storied history.”

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 314 CEO departures in the Russell 3000 Index evaluated over the past 12 months (May 26, 2022, to May 25, 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 pursuit of other opportunities 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 Ken Jacobs’s move determined

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

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

Read the full story in the exechange report 22.2023 ($).