Balchem CFO Bill Backus leaves post at short notice

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After around three years on the job
  • Praise for Backus
  • Terry Coelho taking over
  • Backus will remain as Chief Accounting Officer at Balchem

(exechange) — New Hampton, New York, October 12, 2017 — Bill Backus, finance chief of Balchem, leaves the position. It is a change at short notice. As announced by Balchem Corporation in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Thursday, October 12, 2017, William A. (Bill) Backus leaves the post as Chief Financial Officer at the chemical manufacturing company after around three years on the job, effective October 23, 2017.

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 5.6 years, according to data compiled by exechange.

Backus’ duties are taken over by Terry Coelho, most recently Chief Operating Officer at Diversey, Inc.

The fact that Backus’ successor is brought in from outside suggests that the board may seek to stimulate change with fresh ideas and new initiatives.

Backus’ move is part of a management shake-up also involving the position of Vice President of Administration.

No reason given

In the announcement, Balchem did not explicitly explain the reason for Backus’ imminent move, opening the door for speculation.

Backus will remain as CAO at Balchem

“William Backus, the Company’s current Chief Financial Officer, will continue to serve as the Company’s Chief Accounting Officer, effective October 23, 2017,” Balchem said.

“Succeed”

Balchem said: “Coelho will succeed William A. Backus in the CFO role and report to Theodore L. Harris, Chairman & CEO.”

Share price rise since February 2012

The change follows a rise in the share price of Balchem Corporation since February 2012.

Chaired by Ted Harris

Balchem Corporation is chaired by Ted Harris.

Theodore L. Harris serves as Chairman and has been the Chief Executive Officer of Balchem Corp. since April 28, 2015.

On the job as CFO since 2014

William A. Backus has been Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer since June 2014.

He was Chief Accounting Officer and Assistant Treasurer of the Company since June 2011, and was Controller of the Company from January 2006 to June 2011.

He was Controller of Stewart EFI, LLC, a precision metal component manufacturer, from 1999 through 2005.

At the time of Backus’ appointment as Chief Financial Officer at Balchem, Dino A. Rossi, then President and CEO of Balchem Corporation, had stated: “Bill has extensive experience and has served as our Controller, Chief Accounting Officer and Assistant Treasurer since joining Balchem in 2006, working closely with Frank [J. Fitzpatrick, then CFO of Balchem] in all aspects of the Company’s accounting, financial and treasury affairs. He has also proven to be a valuable resource to our Audit Committee and Board of Directors. His promotion to CFO enables us to maintain the continuity of our staff and ensures a smooth transition as we continue growing our company. I look forward to further utilizing Bill’s financial expertise and business insight in support of Balchem’s continued growth.”

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Bill Backus’ 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 42.2017 ($).