Kellogg CEO John Bryant leaves at short notice

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After almost seven years on the job
  • Accolades, praise and thanks for Bryant
  • Steve Cahillane taking over
  • Bryant spoke at length and said 173 words

(exechange) — Battle Creek, Michigan, September 28, 2017 — John Bryant, chief executive of Kellogg, leaves. It is a change at short notice. As announced by Kellogg Company in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Thursday, September 28, 2017, John A. Bryant leaves the post as Chief Executive Officer at the cereal and snack company after almost seven years on the job, effective October 01, 2017.

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 9.1 years, according to data compiled by exechange.

Bryant’s duties are taken over by Steve Cahillane, most recently President and CEO at The Nature’s Bounty Co.

The fact that Bryant’s successor is brought in from outside suggests that the board may seek to stimulate change with fresh ideas and new initiatives.

In general, an outsider does not have the constraints of an insider when it comes to leading painful changes or making unpopular decisions.

“The time is right”

The imminent management change is explained as follows. Bryant said: “I’ve decided that the time is right to hand over the reins to a new leader who can continue the transformation of this great company.”

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

Alarm signal

Generally speaking, it is often a wake-up call for investors when a CEO leaves the position at short notice and without an understandable explanation.


Kellogg said: “Kellogg Company … today announced that its Board of Directors has unanimously elected Steven A. Cahillane as Chief Executive Officer of the global cereal and snack company effective Oct. 2, 2017, as current CEO John A. Bryant has decided to retire.”

Kellogg further said: “Kellogg Company … announced that on October 1, 2017, John Bryant will retire from the position of Chief Executive Officer and President of the Company.”

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of Kellogg Company since July 2016.

On the job as CEO since 2011

Bryant has been Chairman of the Board of Kellogg Company since July 2014.

In January 2011, he became President and CEO after having served as the Company’s Executive Vice President and COO since August 2008.

He has been a member of Kellogg Company’s Board of Directors since July 2010.

Bryant joined Kellogg in March 1998, and was promoted during the next eight years to a number of key financial and executive leadership roles.

He was appointed Executive Vice President and CFO, Kellogg Company, President, Kellogg International in December 2006.

In July 2007, Bryant was appointed Executive Vice President and CFO, Kellogg Company, President, Kellogg North America and in August 2008, he was appointed Executive Vice President, COO and CFO.

Bryant served as CFO through December 2009.

He has also been a trustee of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation Trust since 2015, and is a director of Macy’s Inc.

Bryant will continue as Executive Chairman of the Board until March 15, 2018, at which time Cahillane will assume the role of Chairman and CEO.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered John Bryant’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 41.2017 ($).