- After 32 years in the position
- Carlos Quezada taking over
- Payne will remain as Executive Chairman at Carriage Services
- Payne made a lengthy statement and said 335 words
(exechange) — Houston, Texas, June 22, 2023 — Mel Payne, chief executive of Carriage Services, leaves his position. As announced by Carriage Services Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Thursday, June 22, 2023, Melvin C. (Mel) Payne has left his post as chief executive officer at the provider of funeral and cemetery services, after 32 years in the role, effective June 21, 2023.
It is the end of an era.
Mel Payne’s duties as CEO will be taken over by Carlos R. Quezada, most recently President and Chief Operating Officer at Carriage Services Inc.
It is a generational change. Carlos Quezada is about 28 years younger than Mel Payne.
The Board also announced that Steve Metzger, previously Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel, has been appointed to serve as President, effective immediately.
The management change is explained as follows. Mel Payne stated: “When I created the Company’s Strategic Vision and Principles Group in June 2021, a team consisting of four executive leaders including myself, we noted it was the first step in our CEO succession planning. The past two years have been a thoughtful, deliberate and intense period of learning, leading and preparation to ensure the seamless transition we announce today.”
Payne will remain as Executive Chairman at Carriage Services
Carriage Services stated: “The Company’s founder and current CEO, Mel Payne, will now serve as Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors, also effective immediately.”
Carriage Services said: “Concurrently with the appointment of Mr. Quezada as CEO, Mr. Payne stepped down as CEO of the Company and the Board approved his appointment as Executive Chairman of the Board, effective June 21, 2023.”
Share price decline since June 2022
The announcement follows a decline in Carriage Services Inc.’s share price of 33% since June 2022.
In the position of CEO since 1991
Mel Payne became CEO of the Company in 1991.
Melvin C. Payne, co-founder of Carriage, has served as the Company’s CEO and a director since the Company’s inception in 1991, and as Chairman of the Board since December 1996.
Prior to co-founding Carriage, Payne held a variety of financial and executive leadership roles, including serving as an Executive Vice President for WEDGE Group where he focused on leveraged buyouts; serving as Chief Financial Officer and then President and Chief Executive Officer for Independent Refining Company; serving as Head of the Chemical Division for Texas Commerce Bank; and overseeing the analysis and private placement of industrial and commercial loans at Prudential Insurance Company.
335 words by Mel Payne
In announcing his departure, Mel Payne made a lengthy statement and said 336 words.
“This Company is my passion”
Mel Payne stated: “When I created the Company’s Strategic Vision and Principles Group in June 2021, a team consisting of four executive leaders including myself, we noted it was the first step in our CEO succession planning. The past two years have been a thoughtful, deliberate and intense period of learning, leading and preparation to ensure the seamless transition we announce today. I could not be more excited and confident in Carlos and his ability to thrive in the CEO role, as he has continued to take on additional responsibilities and lead transformational growth throughout the Company since he first joined Carriage in 2020. The Board has also recognized his talent and achievements, which culminated in appointing Carlos as President in 2022, and ultimately electing him to serve on the Board as Vice Chairman earlier this year. Carlos is a thoughtful and strategic leader who, I am confident, will lead Carriage to achieve our Bold Ten-Year Vision, as laid out in this year’s Shareholder Letter… Steve joined Carriage in 2018 and is a gifted leader who has driven significant growth and improvement in a variety of areas over the years. In addition to leading our Legal, HR and Risk Management Teams, Steve also leads our Corporate Development efforts, which has resulted in the addition of several premier businesses to the Carriage portfolio. Steve is involved with just about every aspect of the Company and brings great experience and judgment to his role as President. As those of you who have followed Carriage for any amount of time know, this Company is my passion. I could not be prouder of our people, the noble nature of what we do, and the way we take care of our families. I will continue to lead our Board as Executive Chairman and provide guidance and mentorship to Carlos, Steve and our CFO, Kian Granmayeh, as they work together to execute our Bold Ten-Year Vision and continue generating value for our shareholders. As we often say at Carriage, ‘The Best is Yet to Come!’”
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 (June 22, 2022, to June 21, 2023), the average Push-out Score was 6.2, 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 Mel Payne’s move determined
The Push-out Score regarding Mel Payne’s move is explained point by point in the exechange report.
exechange reached out to Carriage Services and offered the company the opportunity to comment on the score.
Read the full story in the exechange report 26.2023 ($).