SunCoke CEO Fritz Henderson leaves at short notice

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After seven years in the position
  • Praise, thanks, words of regret and good wishes for Henderson
  • Mike Rippey taking over
  • Henderson spoke at length and said 133 words

(exechange) — Lisle, Illinois, November 10, 2017 — This news came the day before Veterans Day. Fritz Henderson, chief executive of SunCoke, leaves. It is a change at short notice. As announced by SunCoke Energy, Inc. in a news release on Friday, November 10, 2017, Frederick A. (Fritz) Henderson leaves the post as Chief Executive Officer at the steel coke producer after seven years in the position, effective December 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 8.7 years, according to data compiled by exechange.

Henderson’s duties are taken over by Mike Rippey, a former Chief Executive Officer at ArcelorMittal USA.

The fact that Henderson’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.

“Improve operational efficiencies”

A reason for Henderson’s imminent departure from the post of CEO was not explicitly given. John W. Rowe, currently SunCoke’s Lead Director and Governance Committee Chair, said: “Mike is exceptionally talented and, under his leadership, we look forward to continuing to improve operational efficiencies at our existing businesses.”

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

“Retire”

SunCoke said: “[A]fter seven years, Frederick A. Henderson has decided to retire as SunCoke’s Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President, and SunCoke’s board of directors has elected Michael G. Rippey as Chief Executive Officer and President, effective December 1, 2017.”

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of SunCoke Energy, Inc. since October 2014.

In the position of CEO since 2010

Henderson has been the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of SunCoke Energy, Inc. since December 2010 and its President since September 21, 2015.

Henderson was instrumental in the separation of SunCoke Energy from Sunoco.

From February 2010 until September 2010, he was a consultant for General Motors, LLC, and from March 2010 until August 2010, he was a consultant for AlixPartners LLC.

He was president and chief executive officer of General Motors from April 2009 until December 2009.

He was president and chief operating officer of General Motors from March 2008 until March 2009.

He was vice chairman and chief financial officer of General Motors from January 2006 until February 2008.

He was chairman of General Motors Europe from June 2004 until December 2005.

Henderson earned his MBA from Harvard Business School and his undergraduate degree from University of Michigan.

Henderson is a Trustee of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Henderson has agreed to serve as SunCoke’s Executive Chairman until December 31, 2017, and John W. Rowe, currently SunCoke’s Lead Director and Governance Committee Chair, will serve as the non-Executive Chairman of the Board, beginning on January 1, 2018.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Fritz Henderson’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 46.2017 ($).