Boston Beer CEO Martin Roper leaves

  • Signs for push-out forces
  • After 17 years on the job
  • Laud, praise and thanks for Roper
  • Search for a successor

(management-change.com) — Boston, Massachusetts, February 02, 2017 — Martin Roper, chief executive of Boston Beer, leaves. His departure is made public at an early stage. As announced by The Boston Beer Company, Inc. in a news release on Thursday, February 02, 2017, Martin Roper, Chief Executive Officer, leaves the craft brewery in a surprising move after 17 years on the job, effective in 2018.

It is the end of an era.

Boston Beer will undertake a search for a successor.

Long goodbye

It is a long goodbye. The announcement of Roper’s move comes one year prior to his planned departure.

In general, a top executive who announces the departure very early may be considered a lame duck.

Lengthy lead times give boards extra time to find replacements, and they also create uncertainty. Would-be successors may jockey for attention and workers may wonder who is actually in charge.

Generally speaking, lame-duck leaders can take a forceful role in selecting a successor and are not expected to launch major strategy shifts.

No reason given

In the announcement, Boston Beer did not explicitly explain the reason for Roper’s move, opening the door for speculation.

“Retire”

Boston Beer said: “Martin Roper, President and Chief Executive Officer, plans to retire in 2018 after leading the Company for more than 17 years.”

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

Share price decline

The change follows a sharp decline in the share price of The Boston Beer Company, Inc. since February 2015.

Tybourne holds 9.92 percent stake

Tybourne Capital Management (HK) Limited reported a 9.92 percent stake in The Boston Beer Company, Inc. as of September 30, 2016. Tybourne is an investment advisory firm located in Hong Kong.

Chaired by Jim Koch

The Boston Beer Company, Inc. is chaired by Jim Koch.

Koch founded Boston Beer in 1984 and currently serves as its Chairman. Until January 2001, Koch also served as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer.

On the job as CEO since 2001

Martin F. Roper was appointed Boston Beer’s Chief Executive Officer in January 2001, and has been President of the Company since December 1999, after having served as Chief Operating Officer since April 1997.

He joined Boston Beer as Vice President of Manufacturing and Business Development in September 1994.

Unplanned

As a general rule, when a top manager announces to step aside with no successor available, it is a sign that the change was unexpected and too early.

Generally speaking, potential causes for an unexpected change can be, among others, disagreement, family reasons or new career opportunities.

Signs for push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Martin Roper’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 06.2017 ($).