Vista Outdoor CEO Mark DeYoung leaves abruptly

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After around two years on the job
  • Accolades, praise and thanks for DeYoung
  • Mike Callahan taking over in the interim
  • Search for a successor
  • DeYoung spoke at length and said 87 words

(exechange) — Farmington, Utah, July 10, 2017 — Mark DeYoung, chief executive of Vista Outdoor, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Vista Outdoor Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Monday, July 10, 2017, Mark W. DeYoung leaves the post as Chief Executive Officer at the maker of firearms in a surprising move after around two years on the job, effective July 11, 2017.

No company wants a CEO to flame out in the first years.

Vista Outdoor will undertake a search for a successor.

DeYoung’s duties are taken over in the interim by Mike Callahan, most recently Lead Independent Director at Vista Outdoor Inc.

“Now is the time for a new leader”

A reason for the sudden change was not explicitly given. Michael Callahan said: “Given the opportunities and challenges that come with significant change in our industry, and the likelihood that Mark would elect to retire at the end of his employment agreement, the Board and Mark mutually determined that now is the time for a new leader to guide Vista Outdoor in its next phase of growth.”

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


Vista Outdoor said: “Chairman and CEO Mark DeYoung is retiring from the Company and the Board of Directors, effective immediately.”

Share price decline

The change follows a sharp decline in the share price of Vista Outdoor Inc. since August 2016.

On the job as CEO since 2015

Mark W. DeYoung served as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Vista Outdoor Inc. since February, 2015.

Before becoming Vista Outdoor’s Chairman and CEO, DeYoung served as ATK’s President and CEO from 2010-2015.

As CEO of ATK ($4.8 billion in revenue for FY 2014), he completed the strategic acquisitions of Savage Arms and Bushnell.

In 2015, he led the strategic transaction which spun off ATK’s Sporting business creating Vista Outdoor and merged ATK’s Aerospace and Defense businesses with Orbital Sciences Corporation.

DeYoung previously led ATK’s Armament Systems group as President of the company’s largest business.

In this capacity, he created the world’s leading munitions organization and oversaw the group’s expansion into new markets and capabilities.

Under DeYoung’s leadership the group grew from approximately $600 million of revenue in fiscal year 2003, to $2.1 billion of revenue in FY 2010.

DeYoung’s history with ATK spanned nearly three decades and all of the company’s business groups and product lines.

DeYoung began his career at Hercules Aerospace Company in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1985.

While at Hercules he held numerous leadership roles in the company’s solid propulsion and composite structures businesses.

Hercules was acquired by ATK in 1995.

DeYoung held numerous leadership positions in Finance, Operations, Composite Programs, Human Resources and Munitions businesses.

In 2002, he was selected to lead the company’s acquired commercial ammunition and accessories businesses and the newly formed Ammunition Systems group, which subsequently became the Armament Systems group.

DeYoung is a native of Utah.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in business at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, and an MBA at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he also taught management and finance courses and was named Adjunct Professor of the Year.

DeYoung serves as an Honorary Board Member for the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation.


Generally speaking, when a top manager announces to step aside with no permanent successor in place, it’s a signal that the move was unplanned and too early.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Mark DeYoung’s sudden 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 29.2017 ($).