Knoll CFO Craig Spray leaves at short notice

  • Signs for push-out forces
  • After almost four years on the job
  • Praise, thanks and good wishes for Spray
  • Charles Rayfield taking over in the interim
  • Search for a successor

(exechange) — East Greenville, Pennsylvania, May 25, 2017 — Craig Spray, finance chief of Knoll, leaves. It is a change at short notice. As announced by Knoll, Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Thursday, May 25, 2017, Craig B. Spray leaves the post as Chief Financial Officer at the design firm in a surprising move after almost four years on the job, effective June 23, 2017.

Knoll will undertake a search for a successor.

Spray’s duties are taken over in the interim by Charles Rayfield, currently Vice President, Finance and Corporate Controller at Knoll, Inc.

“In order to devote more time to his family”

The imminent management change is explained as follows. Knoll said: “Craig Spray will resign from his position as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, effective June 23, 2017, in order to devote more time to his family.”

The phrase “in order to devote more time to his family” is often used in corporate announcements and opens the door to speculation.

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

Wake-up call

Generally speaking, it is often an alarm signal for stockholders when a CFO leaves the position at short notice and without comprehensible reasons being given.


Knoll said: “On May 20, 2017, Craig B. Spray, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Knoll, Inc. …, announced his resignation effective as of June 23, 2017.”

Share price decline

The change follows a sharp decline in the share price of Knoll, Inc. since February 2017.

Chaired by Burton B. Staniar

Knoll, Inc. is chaired by Burton B. Staniar.

Burton B. Staniar has served as Chairman of the Board of Knoll, Inc. since his appointment in December 1993. Staniar served as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer from December 1993 to January 1997.

CEO: Andrew B. Cogan

Andrew B. Cogan serves as CEO of Knoll, Inc. Cogan became Chief Executive Officer of Knoll, Inc. in April 2001 after serving as Chief Operating Officer since December 1999.

On the job as CFO since 2013

Craig B. Spray has been Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President of Knoll, Inc. since September 23, 2013 and serves as its Chief Accounting Officer and Controller.

Prior to joining Knoll, Spray served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of MasterBrand Cabinets, Inc., the kitchen and bath cabinetry subsidiary of Fortune Brands Home & Security, Inc.

Spray, who earned a BS from Michigan State University and an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, has also held various finance positions at Ford Motor Company and he served in Europe and the United States as a U.S. Navy project engineer.

Spray will be available to assist with the transition and consult with the Company on an as needed basis.


As a general rule, when a top manager announces to step down with no permanent successor available, it’s a sign that the change was unplanned and too early.

Signs for push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Craig Spray’s imminent 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 22.2017 ($).