Allscripts CFO Melinda Whittington leaves abruptly

  • Signs for push-out forces
  • After about a year on the job
  • Thanks and good wishes for Whittington
  • Dennis Olis taking over in the interim

(exechange) — Chicago, Illinois, May 12, 2017 — Melinda Whittington, finance chief of Allscripts, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Friday, May 12, 2017, Melinda D. Whittington leaves the post as Chief Financial Officer at the healthcare information technology company in a surprising move after about a year on the job, effective immediately.

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

Whittington’s duties are taken over in the interim by Dennis Olis, most recently Senior Vice President, Strategic Initiatives at Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc.

No reason given

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

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

Wake-up call

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

“Leaving”

Allscripts said: Melinda Whittington “will be leaving the Company”.

Allscripts announced that Melinda D. Whittington would “no longer be serving as Chief Financial Officer, principal financial officer or principal accounting officer of the Company, effective immediately”.

“Not as a result of any dispute or disagreement”

“Ms. Whittington’s departure is not as a result of any dispute or disagreement over the Company’s accounting principles or practices, financial statement disclosures, ethics policy or otherwise,” Allscripts 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 Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc. since March 2014.

Chaired by Michael Klayko

Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc. is chaired by Michael Klayko.

Michael A. Klayko has been the Chairman of the Board since March 2014.

CEO: Paul Black

Paul Black serves as CEO of Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc. Paul M. Black has served as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer since December 2012.

On the job as CFO since 2016

Melinda D. Whittington has been the Chief Financial Officer at Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc. since March 1, 2016.

Melinda Whittington joined Allscripts in 2016 as chief financial officer and was responsible for all financial operations, including controllership, tax, internal audit, financial planning and analysis, treasury, and investor relations.

Before coming to Allscripts, Whittington served as senior vice president, controller and chief accounting officer for Kraft Foods Group, Inc. upon joining the company in 2014.

Previously, she spent 20 years at The Procter & Gamble Company, where she served in a variety of finance leadership roles, including finance director for global home products, finance director for North America home care and global surface care brand franchise as well as finance director for corporate accounting.

Whittington’s leadership positions have also included international assignments in Belgium and Costa Rica.

Early in her career, Whittington worked on the audit staff of KPMG and served as a postgraduate intern at the Financial Accounting Standards Board.

She has served in several board leadership positions for nonprofit organizations, including the Inter-Parish Ministries Food Pantry and lay leader for Armstrong Chapel United Methodist Church, both in Cincinnati.

Whittington is a summa cum laude graduate of The Ohio State University.

To assist in the orderly transition of the Chief Financial Officer position, Whittington will continue with the Company until June 5, 2017, at which time Whittington’s employment with the Company will terminate.

At the time of Whittington’s appointment as Chief Financial Officer at Allscripts, CEO Paul Black had said: “We are delighted to welcome Melinda, an exceptionally talented financial executive, to assume the CFO position at Allscripts. She brings a rare combination of exceptional technical controllership expertise and operational finance experience with proven global leadership skills. Her experience in large companies, in a variety of finance and accounting leadership roles, impeccable professional reputation and record of achievement makes her the right person to help drive Allscripts future growth.”

Unexpected

As a general rule, when a top leader announces to step down with no permanent successor in place, it’s a sign that the move was unexpected and too early.

Signs for push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Melinda Whittington’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 21.2017 ($).