InnerWorkings CFO Jeff Pritchett leaves abruptly

  • After less than two and a half years in the position
  • Chip Hodgkins taking over in the interim
  • Search for a successor

(exechange) — Chicago, Illinois, December 6, 2017 — Jeff Pritchett, finance chief of InnerWorkings, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by InnerWorkings, Inc. in a news release on Wednesday, December 6, 2017, Jeffrey P. (Jeff) Pritchett, Chief Financial Officer, leaves the marketing firm after less than two and a half years in the position, effective immediately.

No company wants a CFO to flame out in the first years.

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 36 percent of the CFOs who departed over the past twelve months left the position within three years.

InnerWorkings will undertake a search for a successor.

Pritchett’s duties will be taken over in the interim by Chip Hodgkins, most recently Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Strategic Initiatives at InnerWorkings, Inc.

“Due to personal matters inconsistent with Company policy”

Pritchett’s sudden departure from the CFO post is explained as follows. InnerWorkings said: “Mr. Hodgkins’ appointment to the role follows the departure of former Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey P. Pritchett, who resigned from the Company, effective immediately, due to personal matters inconsistent with Company policy.”

Precise information about Pritchett’s future plans was not immediately available.

Alarm signal

Generally speaking, it is often an alarm signal for investors when a CFO leaves the position abruptly and without a reasonable explanation.

“Not related to the Company’s business, operations, financial performance, or financial reporting”

“Mr. Pritchett’s departure was not related to the Company’s business, operations, financial performance, or financial reporting,” InnerWorkings 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 Jack M. Greenberg

InnerWorkings, Inc. is chaired by Jack M. Greenberg.

Greenberg has served on the Company’s Board since October 2005 and has served as the non-executive Chairman of the Board since June 2010.

CEO: Eric D. Belcher

Eric D. Belcher serves as CEO of InnerWorkings, Inc. Belcher has served on the Company’s Board and as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer since January 2009.

In the position of CFO since 2015

Jeffrey P. Pritchett has been Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of InnerWorkings Inc. since August 2015 and its Principal Accounting Officer since May 11, 2017.

Pritchett joined InnerWorkings in August 2015, bringing with him a proven record of driving companywide initiatives, improving core business and financial processes, and managing relationships with investors, clients, suppliers, and other stakeholders.

Pritchett previously served as Head of the Finance Practice and a Senior Operating Executive at Cerberus Operations and Advisory Company, LLC (COAC), an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management, L.P.

At COAC, Pritchett supported the firm’s portfolio companies in driving strategic initiatives and improving their financial and operating performance, while also leading operational diligence for new Cerberus investments. He served as Interim Executive Chairman of the Board of TransCentra, Inc. and as a Board Member of Remington Outdoors Company, Inc. in conjunction with his role at COAC.

Prior to joining COAC, Pritchett served in numerous finance and strategy roles at Vertis Communications, a marketing communications company, where he ended his tenure as Interim Chief Financial Officer.

He began his career at GM and Delphi Corporation, holding a variety of finance, treasury, and strategy roles between the two companies.

Pritchett is a graduate of Walsh College and received his MBA from The Krannert School of Management at Purdue University.

At the time of Pritchett’s appointment as Chief Financial Officer at InnerWorkings, Eric D. Belcher, Chief Executive Officer of InnerWorkings, said: “Jeff is a dynamic and strategic leader who will help us to further strengthen our financial organization and processes in ways that support our next phase of growth and profitability. Jeff’s background and proven track record will make him a valuable member of our leadership team.”

At the time of his appointment as Chief Financial Officer at InnerWorkings, Pritchett commented: “My discussions with Eric and the InnerWorkings’ Board of Directors have given me the utmost confidence in the Company’s strong growth prospects as well as its strategy, leadership and commitment to building shareholder value. I am proud to join this great Company and look forward to working with Eric and the team to ensure InnerWorkings continues to deliver profitable growth for all of our stakeholders.”

Read the full story in the exechange report 50.2017 ($).