Career Education CFO A.J. Cederoth leaves abruptly

  • After less than a year and a half on the job
  • Thanks and good wishes for Cederoth
  • Ashish Ghia taking over in the interim
  • Search for a successor

(exechange) — Schaumburg, Illinois, September 21, 2017 — A.J. Cederoth, finance chief of Career Education, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Career Education Corporation in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Thursday, September 21, 2017, Andrew J. (A.J.) Cederoth has already left the post as Chief Financial Officer at the provider of postsecondary education programs after less than a year and a half on the job, effective September 20, 2017.

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

Among the 3,000 largest publicly held companies incorporated in the U.S. based on market capitalization, only 21 percent of the CFOs who departed over the past twelve months left within two years, and 36 percent left within three years. Overall, the average tenure of those who left was 5.6 years, according to data compiled by exechange.

Career Education will undertake a search for a successor.

Cederoth’s duties are taken over in the interim by Ashish Ghia, most recently Vice President Finance at Career Education Corporation.

“To pursue other opportunities”

The sudden management change is explained as follows. Career Education said: “A.J. Cederoth, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, will be leaving the Company to pursue other opportunities.”

The phrase “to pursue other opportunities” opens the door to speculation.

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

Alarm signal

Generally speaking, it is often an alarm signal for stockholders when a CFO leaves the position abruptly and without a reasonable explanation.

“Cease serving”

Career Education said: “On September 19, 2017, the Company determined that Mr. Cederoth would cease serving in that role as an executive officer of the Company effective September 20, 2017.”

“Not the result of any dispute or disagreement”

“Mr. Cederoth’s departure is not the result of any dispute or disagreement with the Company, or any matter relating to the Company’s accounting practices or financial statements,” Career Education said.

It is a phrase that may be intended to prevent false rumors. It may also fuel further speculation and raise more questions than it answers. Such a phrase should be read very carefully. The exact wording may be insightful.

Chaired by Thomas B. Lally

Career Education Corporation is chaired by Thomas B. Lally.

Lally has served as Chairman of the Board since October 26, 2015.

CEO: Todd Nelson

Todd Nelson serves as CEO of Career Education Corporation. Todd Nelson was named President and CEO of Career Education Corporation in August 12, 2015.

On the job as CFO since 2016

Andrew J. Cederoth joined the Company as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in April 2016.

Prior to joining the Company, Cederoth served as Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of New Business Development at Innova UEV, an electric car sharing company based in Burr Ridge, Illinois, from March 2015 until March 2016.

Prior to joining Innova, he served as Chief Financial Officer at Clover Technologies Group, a leading provider of electronic asset lifecycle management and environmental solutions, from January 2014 until December 2014.

He began his career in finance in 1990 at Navistar International Corporation, a Fortune 500 manufacturer of commercial and defense vehicles and engines.

While at Navistar, Cederoth occupied various financial roles of increasing responsibility, culminating with his tenure as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer from 2009 to 2013.

Cederoth received a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of Illinois and a Master of Business Administration in finance from DePaul University.

Cederoth’s employment with the Company is expected to continue through September 30, 2017.

At the time of Cederoth’s appointment as Chief Financial Officer at Career Education, President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Nelson had said: “We are extremely pleased to welcome A.J. Cederoth to Career Education. A.J.’s broad experience in financial management spans roles at both private and publicly-traded companies across a number of industries, most recently within more technology- and service-focused businesses. His background represents an excellent addition to our executive leadership team as we continue moving Career Education forward, and we look forward to his contributions.”

Read the full story in the exechange report 40.2017 ($).