Aceto CEO Sal Guccione leaves abruptly

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After almost five years on the job
  • Thanks for Guccione
  • Bill Kennally taking over

(exechange) — Port Washington, New York, September 27, 2017 — Sal Guccione, chief executive of Aceto, leaves – as “mutually agreed”. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Aceto Corporation in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Wednesday, September 27, 2017, Salvatore J. (Sal) Guccione leaves the post as Chief Executive Officer at the drugmaker after almost five years on the job, effective immediately.

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 9.1 years, according to data compiled by exechange.

Guccione’s duties are taken over by Bill Kennally, a former executive at Pfizer.

Already a director

Kennally is already a director of Aceto. Often a board member is a last resort, someone who is turned to in desperation when a company cannot find suitable candidates. On the other hand, directors-turned-executives represent a blend of outsider and insider.

They don’t have the constraints of a pure insider when it comes to leading painful changes or making unpopular decisions, and they have more company knowledge than a pure outsider.

Having been a director, Kennally understands the expectations and dynamics of the board and has knowledge of Aceto’s organization, risk-management practices and strategy.

“To drive strong long-term growth for Aceto”

A reason for the sudden change was not explicitly given. Chairman of the Board Albert Eilender said: “As we continue to transition the company to one focused on human health and specifically finished dosage form generic drugs, Bill’s deep, multi-faceted experience gained over a 37-year distinguished career in the pharmaceutical arena and dynamic leadership are the attributes the board is looking for to drive strong long-term growth for Aceto.”

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

“Stepped down/resign”

Aceto said: “Salvatore Guccione, Aceto’s Chief Executive Officer has stepped down from all positions with Aceto effective today.”

Aceto further said: “On September 27, 2017, Salvatore Guccione, President and Chief Executive Officer of Aceto Corporation …, notified the Company of his decision to resign from the Company’s Board of Directors … effective immediately, and the Board met and accepted his resignation.  In addition, on September 27, 2017, Mr. Guccione and the Company mutually agreed that he would resign from his positions as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company effective as of September 27, 2017.”

“No disagreements”

“There were no disagreements between the Company and Mr. Guccione on any matter relating to the Company’s operations, policies or practices,” Aceto 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 sharp decline in the share price of Aceto Corporation since October 2015.

Chaired by Albert L. Eilender

Aceto Corporation is chaired by Albert L. Eilender.

Eilender has been the Chairman of the Board since October 2009.

On the job as CEO since 2013

Guccione joined Aceto’s Board in May 2011 and in December 2011 was appointed President and Chief Operating Officer of the Company.

In January 2013 he was also appointed Chief Executive Officer.

In August 2016, he ceased to serve as the Company’s Chief Operating Officer.

Guccione was formerly an Operating Partner at Arsenal Capital Partners, a private equity investment firm based in New York.

Prior to that, Guccione was the Chief Executive Officer and the Chief Financial Officer of WIL Research Laboratories from 2006 to 2009 and the Chief Financial Officer of International Specialty Products from 2004 to 2005.

In addition, Guccione held various positions at Cambrex Corporation from 1995 to 2004, including Executive Vice President, Strategy and Chief Financial Officer.

From 1987 to 1995, Guccione held various positions at International Specialty Products, including Vice President and General Manager, Personal Care and Director, Corporate Development.

Guccione holds a Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering from Lehigh University and an MBA in Finance from New York University’s Stern School of Business.

Guccione previously served on the board of directors of ReSearch Pharmaceutical Services, Inc., a privately held company, from November 2011 to September 2013.

In addition, Guccione previously served on the boards of Royal Adhesives & Sealants Holdings and DG3 Holdings from 2010 to October 2011.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Sal Guccione’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 41.2017 ($).