Finisar CEO Jerry Rawls prepares for his departure

  • Accolades, praise, thanks and words of regret for Rawls
  • Search for a successor
  • Rawls said 61 words

(exechange) — Sunnyvale, California, September 06, 2017 — Jerry Rawls, chief executive of Finisar, prepares for his departure. As announced by Finisar Corporation in a news release on Wednesday, September 06, 2017, Jerry S. Rawls leaves the post as Chief Executive Officer at the manufacturer of optical communication components, effective by the end of calendar year 2018.

Finisar will undertake a search for a successor.

Long goodbye

It is a long goodbye. The announcement of Rawls’ move comes up to 16 months prior to his planned departure from the post of CEO.

In general, a top executive who announces the departure very early may be considered a lame duck.

Lengthy lead times give boards extra time to find replacements, and they also create uncertainty. Would-be successors may jockey for attention and workers may wonder who is actually in charge.

Generally speaking, lame-duck leaders can take a forceful role in selecting a successor and are not expected to launch major strategy shifts.

No reason given

In the announcement, Finisar did not explicitly explain the reason for Rawls’ move.

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


Finisar said: “Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jerry Rawls has informed the board of directors that he intends to retire as Chief Executive Officer of the Company by the end of calendar year 2018.”

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of Finisar Corporation since February 2017.

On the job as CEO since 2015

Jerry S. Rawls has served as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer since September 2015, as a member of the Company’s board of directors since March 1989 and as the Company’s Chairman of the Board since January 2006.

Rawls previously served as the Company’s Executive Chairman from August 2008 through September 2015 and as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer from August 1999 until August 2008.

Rawls also served as the Company’s President from April 2003 until August 2008 and previously held that title from April 1989 to September 2002.

From September 1968 to February 1989, Rawls was employed by Raychem Corporation, a materials science and engineering company, where he held various management positions including Division General Manager of the Aerospace Products Division and Interconnection Systems Division.

Rawls holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Texas Tech University and an M.S. in Industrial Administration from Purdue University.

Read the full story in the exechange report 37.2017 ($).