Mesa CEO John Sullivan leaves post abruptly

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After almost nine years on the job
  • Accolades for Sullivan
  • Gary Owens taking over
  • Sullivan will remain as Chairman at Mesa
  • Sullivan spoke at length and said 208 words

(exechange) — Lakewood, Colorado, September 01, 2017 — John Sullivan, chief executive of Mesa, leaves the position. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Mesa Laboratories, Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Friday, September 01, 2017, John J. Sullivan leaves the post as Chief Executive Officer at the maker of monitoring instruments in a surprising move after almost nine years on the job, effective immediately.

Among the 3,000 largest publicly held companies incorporated in the U.S. based on market capitalization, the average tenure of the CEOs who departed over the past twelve months was 8.7 years, according to data compiled by exechange.

Sullivan’s duties are taken over by Gary Owens, most recently Chief Operating Officer at Mesa Laboratories, Inc.

“Continue Mesa’s growth trajectory”

The sudden management change is explained as follows. H.Stuart Campbell, Mesa’s Lead Independent Director, said: “Ensuring that the Company has a talented and dedicated leadership team is probably the most important responsibility of the Board. The Board has worked closely with John for the past 15 months recruiting a successor who can continue Mesa’s growth trajectory and the financial success achieved in recent years.”

Sullivan will remain as Chairman at Mesa

“John will remain on the Company’s Board and has been named Chairman, succeeding H. Stuart Campbell, who will remain on the Board and has been appointed to the position of Lead Independent Director,” Mesa said.


Mesa said: “Gary Owens has been approved unanimously by Mesa’s Board of Directors … to assume the positions of President and Chief Executive Officer, succeeding John Sullivan, who has held these positions since March, 2009.”

Mesa further said: “Mesa Laboratories, Inc. … on September 1, 2017 announced the retirement of John J. Sullivan from the position of President and Chief Executive Officer.”

Conestoga holds 9.44 percent stake

Conestoga Capital Advisors, LLC reported a 9.44 percent stake in Mesa Laboratories, Inc. as of June 29, 2017.

On the job as CEO since 2009

John J. Sullivan, Ph.D. was promoted to the position of Chief Executive Officer and President, and appointed to the Board of Directors, in March 2009.

Sullivan joined Mesa in October 2004 in the role of Vice President of Sales and Marketing, and was promoted to the positions of President and Chief Operating Officer in 2006.

In 1988, Sullivan joined Varian, Inc. (a major analytical instrument manufacturer) and served in various capacities in Research and Development, Sales and Marketing Management, and Business Development until 2004.

In 1982, Sullivan joined the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Seattle District Laboratory as a Senior Research Scientist and worked there until 1988.

From 1976 until 1980, Sullivan was employed as an Analytical Chemist at BioMed Research Labs (an independent research and testing laboratory).

Sullivan received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Western Washington University in 1976 and a Ph.D. degree in Food Science from the University of Washington in 1982.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered John Sullivan’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 36.2017 ($).