Aegion CFO David Martin leaves abruptly

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After around ten years in the position
  • Praise, thanks and good wishes for Martin
  • David Morris taking over in the interim
  • Search for a successor

(exechange) — St. Louis, Missouri, November 20, 2017 — David Martin, finance chief of Aegion, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Aegion Corporation in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Monday, November 20, 2017, David A. Martin has already left the post as Chief Financial Officer at the engineering services company after around ten years in the position, effective November 18, 2017.

It is the end of an era.

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 5.7 years, according to data compiled by exechange. Only 18 percent of the CFOs who departed over the past twelve months left the position after more than ten years.

Aegion will undertake a search for a successor.

Martin’s duties are taken over in the interim by David Morris, currently Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Aegion Corporation.

No reason given

In the announcement, Aegion did not explicitly explain the obviously compelling reason for Martin’s sudden move, leaving room for speculation.

Precise information about the future plans of Martin 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.

“Resigned”

Aegion said: “Aegion Corporation … today announced that, effective November 18, 2017, David A. Martin has resigned his positions as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Company.”

“Not the result of any issue, concern or disagreement”

“Mr. Martin’s resignation is not the result of any issue, concern or disagreement with the Company’s accounting, financial reporting or internal control over financial reporting,” Aegion 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 Alfred L. Woods

Aegion Corporation is chaired by Alfred L. Woods.

Woods has served as Chairman of the Company’s Board of Directors since 2003.

CEO: Charles R. Gordon

Charles R. Gordon serves as CEO of Aegion Corporation. Chuck Gordon was appointed President & CEO of Aegion Corporation in October 2014 after serving for five months as the Interim CEO of Aegion.

In the position of CFO since 2007

David A. Martin has been the Chief Financial Officer at Aegion Corporation since August 2007.

Martin was named Aegion Chief Financial Officer in 2007 after working for the Company since 1993 in various positions of increasing responsibility.

These include senior vice president, vice president, corporate controller and finance director of the Company’s European operations.

Martin came to Aegion after working for BDO Seidman, LLP as a senior accountant.

Following over 20 years of dedicated service to the Company, Martin entered into a transition and separation agreement with the Company under which he will maintain continued employment with the Company as a special advisor through March 31, 2018.

Unplanned

As a general rule, when a top leader announces to step down with no permanent successor available, it’s a signal that the move was unplanned and too early.

Generally speaking, potential causes for an unplanned change may be, among others, health reasons, family reasons and surprising new career opportunities.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered David Martin’s sudden 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 48.2017 ($).