Sequential Brands CEO Yehuda Shmidman leaves abruptly

  • Signs for push-out forces
  • After around four years on the job
  • Praise, thanks and good wishes for Shmidman
  • Karen Murray taking over

(exechange) — New York, March 22, 2017 — Yehuda Shmidman, chief executive of Sequential Brands, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Sequential Brands Group, Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Wednesday, March 22, 2017, Yehuda R. Shmidman has already left the post as Chief Executive Officer at the consumer brands company in a surprising move after around four years on the job, effective March 16, 2017.

Shmidman’s duties are taken over by Karen Murray, most recently President of VF Sportswear at VF Corporation.

The move is a reverse generational change. Karen Murray is about 25 years older than Yehuda Shmidman.

The fact that Shmidman’s successor is brought in from outside suggests that the board may seek to stimulate change with fresh ideas and new initiatives.

In general, an outsider doesn’t have the constraints of an insider when it comes to leading painful changes or making unpopular decisions.

No reason given

In the announcement, Sequential Brands did not explicitly explain the obviously compelling reason for Shmidman’s sudden move, leaving room for speculation.

Precise information about the future plans of Shmidman was not immediately available.

Mary Blanton Ogushwitz, Account Director at Magrino, speaking on behalf of Sequential Brands, declined to give further information beyond the statement.

Wake-up call

Generally speaking, it is often an alarm signal for stockholders when a CEO leaves the post abruptly and without comprehensible reasons being given.


Sequential Brands said: Yehuda Shmidman “ceased to be Chief Executive Officer and director on March 16, 2017”.

Share price decline

The change follows a sharp decline in the share price of Sequential Brands Group, Inc. since July 2015.

Carlyle holds 10.2 percent stake

Carlyle Group L.P. reported a 10.2 percent stake in Sequential Brands Group, Inc. as of December 31, 2016. Carlyle is a private equity company.

Chaired by William Sweedler

Sequential Brands Group, Inc. is chaired by William Sweedler.

In addition to being Chairman of Sequential Brands Group, William Sweedler is presently Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Tengram Capital Partners, a consumer private equity firm formed to invest in the consumer and retail sectors through its GEN2 Fund.

On the job as CEO since 2012

Shmidman has been the Chief Executive Officer of Sequential Brands Group, Inc. since November 19, 2012.

Shmidman joined Sequential Brands Group, Inc. as CEO and member of the Board of Directors in 2012.

Since that time, Sequential has grown to become one of the largest pure-play brand licensing companies in the world with a portfolio of consumer brands in the fashion, active and home categories that generate approximately $4 billion annually in global retail sales.

Shmidman also serves on the board of the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the fashion industry by encouraging gifted and enterprising young adults to pursue careers in design, merchandising, retailing and related businesses.

In addition, Shmidman is a director of Jet Support Services (JSSI), a leading global aviation service provider.

Prior to joining Sequential, Shmidman was the COO of Iconix Brand Group.

He began his career working at a startup licensing agency in New York that launched several direct-to-retail licensing partnerships, including Isaac Mizrahi at Target.

Most recently in September 2015, Shmidman was named to the “40 Under 40” list by Fortune Magazine, a recognition he also received from Crain’s New York in 2011.

Shmidman received a Bachelor of Arts degree magna cum laude in Political Science from Yeshiva University.

Signs for push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Yehuda Shmidman’s move.

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange suggests that push-out forces may have contributed to the management change.

Read the full story in the exechange report 13.2017 ($).