Willbros CFO Van Welch leaves for Mobile Mini

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After about eleven years on the job
  • Praise, thanks and good wishes for Welch
  • Search for a successor
  • Welch spoke briefly and said 47 words

(exechange) — Houston, Texas, August 01, 2017 — Van Welch, finance chief of Willbros, leaves. It is a change at short notice. As announced by Willbros Group, Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Tuesday, August 01, 2017, Van A. Welch leaves the post as Chief Financial Officer at the engineering services company in a surprising move after about eleven years on the job, effective August 30, 2017.

It is the end of an era.

Among the 3,000 largest publicly held companies incorporated in the U.S. based on market capitalization, only 17 percent of the CFOs who departed over the past twelve months left after more than ten years. Overall, the average tenure of those who left was 5.5 years, according to data compiled by exechange.

Willbros will undertake a search for a successor.

Career change

The imminent management change is explained as follows. Willbros said: “Mr. Welch has accepted a similar position with a company in a different industry and has agreed to assist the Company during this transition period as it initiates a search process to fill this important role.”

Welch will be CFO at Mobile Mini

“Van Welch is joining Mobile Mini as Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, effective August 31, 2017,” Mobile Mini, Inc. said. Mobile Mini, Inc. announced the move on Tuesday, August 01, 2017. Mobile Mini, Inc. is a provider of portable storage and specialty containment solutions.


Willbros said: “On July 30, 2017, Van A. Welch, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Accounting Officer of Willbros Group, Inc. … informed the Company of his intention to resign from the Company to accept a similar position with a company in a different industry.”

“No disagreements”

“There were no disagreements between Mr. Welch and the Company on any matter relating to the Company’s operations, policies or practices that caused Mr. Welch to resign, in whole or in part,” Willbros said.

Share price decline

The change follows a sharp decline in the share price of Willbros Group, Inc. since June 2014.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts holds 16.13 percent stake

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. reported a 16.13 percent stake in Willbros Group, Inc. as of March 30, 2017.

Chaired by S.Miller Williams

Willbros Group, Inc. is chaired by S.Miller Williams.

S.Miller Williams was elected to the Board of Directors in May 2004 and was appointed non-executive Chairman of the Board effective December 1, 2015.

CEO: Michael J. Fournier

Michael J. Fournier serves as CEO of Willbros Group, Inc. Michael J. Fournier has been Chief Executive Officer and a Director of the Company since December 2015.

On the job as CFO since 2006

Van A. Welch has been Executive Vice President of the Company since May 2011 and Chief Financial Officer of the Company since August 2006.

Welch served as Senior Vice President of the Company from August 2006 to May 2011 and as Treasurer of the Company from August 2006 to September 2007 and from July 2010 to May 2012.

Welch has over 30 years’ experience in project controls, administrative and finance positions with KBR, Inc. (formerly known as Kellogg Brown & Root), a global engineering, construction and services company, and its subsidiaries, serving in his last position as Vice President – Finance and Investor Relations and as a member of KBR’s executive leadership team.

From 1998 to 2006, Welch held various other positions with KBR including Vice President, Accounting and Finance of the Engineering and Construction Division, Vice President, Accounting and Finance of Onshore Operations and Senior Vice President of Shared Services.

Welch is a Certified Public Accountant.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Van Welch’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 32.2017 ($).