- After almost 16 years in the position
- Thanks for Aslett
- Bill Ballhaus taking over temporarily
- Search for a successor
(exechange) — Andover, Massachusetts, June 23, 2023 — Mark Aslett, chief executive of Mercury, leaves his position. As announced by Mercury Systems Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Friday, June 23, 2023, Mark Aslett leaves his post as chief executive officer at the company serving the aerospace and defense industry, after almost 16 years in the role, effective June 24, 2023.
It is the end of an era.
Mercury will undertake a search for a successor.
Mark Aslett’s duties as CEO will be taken over temporarily by William L. (Bill) Ballhaus, most recently Chairman and CEO at Blackboard, Inc., as Interim Chief Executive Officer.
Already a director
Ballhaus has already been a member of the board of directors of Mercury. 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, Ballhaus understands the expectations and dynamics of the board and has knowledge of Mercury’s organization, risk-management practices and strategy.
The management change is explained as follows. Mercury stated: “Mercury Systems, Inc. (the “Company” or “Mercury”) (NASDAQ: MRCY, www.mrcy.com), a technology company that delivers processing power for the most demanding aerospace and defense missions, today announced that following a comprehensive review of strategic alternatives, the Board of Directors of Mercury (the “Board”) has determined that enhanced execution of the Company’s strategic plan under a refreshed leadership team represents the best path forward to drive value creation for all stakeholders at this time. In connection with this determination, the Company also announced a series of leadership and Board changes, including the initiation of a President and Chief Executive Officer transition, the appointment of a new independent director, and the identification of a second new independent director and a permanent Chief Financial Officer.”
Precise information regarding Mark Aslett’s future plans was not immediately available.
Mercury said: “Mr. Ballhaus succeeds Mark Aslett, who has resigned from his role as President and CEO of the Company. His resignation is effective June 24, 2023.”
Share price decline since June 2020
The announcement follows a decline in Mercury Systems Inc.’s share price of 59% since June 2020.
In the position of CEO since 2007
Mark Aslett became CEO of the Company in 2007.
Aslett has served as the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer since November 2007.
Prior to that, he was Chief Operating Officer and Chief Executive Officer of Enterasys Networks, a public technology company, from 2003 to 2006, and held various positions with Marconi plc and its affiliated companies, including Executive Vice President of Marketing, Vice President of Portfolio Management, and President of Marconi Communications—North America, from 1998 to 2002.
Aslett served on the Board of Directors of Enterasys Networks from 2004 to 2006.
He has also held positions at GEC Plessey Telecommunications, as well as other telecommunications-related technology firms.
No statement by Mark Aslett
In the news release announcing his departure as CEO of Mercury Systems Inc., Mark Aslett received thanks.
The announcement of his departure as CEO does not include a statement by Mark Aslett.
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 23, 2022, to June 22, 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 Mark Aslett’s move determined
The Push-out Score regarding Mark Aslett’s move is explained point by point in the exechange report.
exechange reached out to Mercury and offered the company the opportunity to comment on the score.
Read the full story in the exechange report 26.2023 ($).