Benefitfocus CEO Shawn Jenkins leaves post at short notice

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After almost 18 years in the position
  • Accolades and praise for Jenkins
  • Ray August taking over
  • Jenkins will remain as Senior Advisor for Innovation at Benefitfocus
  • Jenkins made a lengthy statement and said 61 words

(exechange) — Charleston, South Carolina, November 20, 2017 — Shawn Jenkins, chief executive of Benefitfocus, leaves the position. It is a change at short notice. As announced by Benefitfocus, Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Monday, November 20, 2017, Shawn A. Jenkins leaves the post as Chief Executive Officer at the provider of cloud-based benefits management software after almost 18 years in the position, effective December 31, 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 CEOs who departed over the past twelve months was 8.7 years, according to data compiled by exechange. Only 14 percent of the CEOs who departed over the past twelve months left the position after more than 15 years.

Jenkins’ duties are taken over by Ray August, currently President and Chief Operating Officer at Benefitfocus, Inc.

“I have decided to focus my time on shaping the long-term technology and strategic vision”

Jenkins’ imminent departure from the post of CEO is explained as follows. Shawn Jenkins said: “Now, with our most successful open enrollment underway, and a deep leadership bench in place, I have decided to focus my time on shaping the long-term technology and strategic vision for Benefitfocus.”

Jenkins will remain as Senior Advisor for Innovation at Benefitfocus

“As part of the transition, the Board also appointed Benefitfocus Founder and current CEO, Shawn Jenkins, to the new position of Senior Advisor for Innovation, beginning January 1, 2018,” Benefitfocus said.

“Stepped down”

Benefitfocus said: “On November 17, 2017, Shawn A. Jenkins stepped down as Chief Executive Officer of Benefitfocus, Inc. …, effective December 31, 2017.”

“Not related to any disagreement”

“Mr. Jenkins’ transition is not related to any disagreement with the Company on any matter relating to Company’s operations, but is for personal reasons,” Benefitfocus 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.

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of Benefitfocus, Inc. since January 2014.

Chaired by Mason R. Holland Jr.

Benefitfocus, Inc. is chaired by Mason R. Holland Jr.

Mason Holland, one of the Company’s founders, has been the Company’s Executive Chairman and a member of the Company’s board of directors since the Company’s founding in June 2000.

In the position of CEO since 2000

Shawn Jenkins, one of the Company’s founders, has been the Company’s Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Company’s board of directors since the Company’s founding in June 2000, and in addition to these roles, served as the Company’s President from June 2000 to April 2015.

Prior to founding Benefitfocus, from 1995 to 2000, he served as Vice President with American Pensions, Inc., leading sales, operations, and technology.

From 1994 to 1995, Jenkins was a program analyst with Rockwell Automation, Inc. (NYSE: ROK).

He is a major benefactor of the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital in Charleston.

Jenkins serves on the Advisory Board for the School of Computing at Clemson University, and has previously served on the Medical University of South Carolina Foundation Board of Directors, College of Charleston Board of Governors, and Charleston Southern University Board of Visitors. Jenkins received an M.B.A. from Charleston Southern University and a B.A. from Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.

As part of the transition, Jenkins will assume a new role as Senior Advisor for Innovation and continue as a member of the Board of Directors.

In this newly formed role supporting August and the rest of the executive team, Jenkins will devote his time to exploring the application of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, voice recognition and bots as they apply to the personalization of benefits.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Shawn Jenkins’ 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 48.2017 ($).