The Chefs’ Warehouse CFO John Austin leaves at short notice

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After around five years on the job
  • Thanks and good wishes for Austin
  • Jim Leddy taking over
  • Austin said 54 words

(exechange) — Ridgefield, Connecticut, October 17, 2017 — John Austin, finance chief of The Chefs’ Warehouse, leaves the position. It is a change at short notice. As announced by The Chefs’ Warehouse, Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Tuesday, October 17, 2017, John D. Austin, Chief Financial Officer, leaves the distributor of specialty food products after around five years on the job, effective November 10, 2017.

Among the 3,000 largest publicly held companies incorporated in the U.S. based on market capitalization, the average tenure of the CFOs who departed over the past twelve months was 5.6 years, according to data compiled by exechange.

Austin will continue to serve as Chief Financial Officer through the Company’s filing of its Form 10-Q, which is anticipated to be on November 8, 2017.

Austin’s duties are taken over by Jim Leddy, most recently interim Chief Financial Officer at JetBlue Airways.

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

“To pursue other interests”

The imminent management change is explained as follows. The Chefs’ Warehouse said: “John Austin, Chief Financial Officer, is leaving the Company to pursue other interests.”

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

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


The Chefs’ Warehouse said: “John D. Austin has submitted his resignation as Chief Financial Officer of The Chefs’ Warehouse, Inc. … and his last day of employment will be November 10, 2017.”

“Not related to any disagreements”

“The resignation was not related to any disagreements with the Company on any matter relating to its operations, policies, practices or any issues regarding financial disclosures, accounting or legal matters,” The Chefs’ Warehouse 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 Christopher Pappas

The Chefs’ Warehouse, Inc. is chaired by Christopher Pappas.

Christopher Pappas is the Company’s founder and has served as the Company’s chief executive officer since 1985 and has been the Company’s chairman since March 1, 2011.

On the job as CFO since 2012

Austin has been the Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Corporate Secretary of The Chefs’ Warehouse, Inc. since July 1, 2012.

He joined The Chef’s Warehouse from the Hilb Group where, since 2009, he has served as chief financial officer.

Prior to joining the Hilb Group, Austin served in progressively more responsible financial capacities with Performance Food Group Company, including serving as PFG’s chief financial officer for the six years leading up to PFG’s sale to a consortium of private equity sponsors in May 2008.

Prior to joining PFG, Austin spent four years as the assistant controller for General Medical Corporation, a Richmond-based distributor of medical supplies.

He spent the first six years of his career in public accounting, primarily with the Richmond office of Deloitte & Touche.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered John Austin’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 43.2017 ($).