Ambac CEO Nader Tavakoli leaves abruptly

  • Signs for push-out forces
  • After less than one year on the job
  • Laud, praise and thanks for Tavakoli
  • Claude LeBlanc takes over

(management-change.com) — New York, December 12, 2016 — Nader Tavakoli, chief executive of Ambac, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Ambac Financial Group, Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Monday, December 12, 2016, Nader Tavakoli leaves the post as Chief Executive Officer at the financial services company in a surprising move after less than one year on the job, effective immediately.

No company wants a CEO to flame out in the first year.

Tavakoli leaves the company effective December 31, 2016.

Tavakoli’s duties are taken over by Claude L. LeBlanc, currently Chief Financial Officer and Chief Restructuring Officer at Syncora Holdings Ltd.

“To pursue other opportunities”

Tavakoli’s move is explained as follows. Ambac said: Tavakoli “has resigned from his roles as President and CEO and as a Director of Ambac, effective immediately, to pursue other opportunities”.

The phrase “to pursue other opportunities” is often used in corporate announcements and opens the door to speculation.

“Resigned”

Ambac said: “Nader Tavakoli has resigned as a director and as President and Chief Executive Officer of Ambac and its principal subsidiary, Ambac Assurance Corporation (“Ambac Assurance,” and together with Ambac, the “Company”), effective as of December 12, 2016, and that the term of his employment will end on December 31, 2016.”

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

Share price rise since November 2016

The change follows a rise in the share price of Ambac Financial Group, Inc. since November 2016.

Chaired by Jeffrey S. Stein

Ambac Financial Group, Inc. is chaired by Jeffrey S. Stein.

Stein has been Chairman of the Board since January 1, 2015 and has served as a Director since May 1, 2013.

Stein will oversee the business and affairs of the Company, at the direction of the Board, through the end of 2016.

On the job as CEO since 2016

Tavakoli served as the Chief Executive Officer and President of Ambac Financial Group, Inc. since January 4, 2016.

Effective January 1, 2015 Tavakoli was appointed interim President and Chief Executive Officer of AFG and Executive Chairman of Ambac Assurance Corporation (AAC).

Tavakoli has been Co-Chair and a Director of AFG and AAC since May 1, 2013.

Prior to founding EagleRock in 2002, Tavakoli managed substantial investment portfolios with Odyssey Partners and Highbridge Capital Management, both private investment partnerships.

During his investment career, Tavakoli has made investments across numerous industries, including significant investments in financial services companies.

Tavakoli began his professional career as an attorney with the law firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley and McCloy, where he primarily represented institutional clients in banking, litigation and corporate restructuring matters.

Signs for push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Nader Tavakoli’s move.

The Push-out Score™ determined by management-change.com suggests that push-out forces may have contributed to the management change.

Read the full story in the management-change.com report 47.2016 ($).