Compass Minerals CFO Doug Linehan leaves abruptly

  • Signs for push-out forces
  • After a few weeks on the job
  • Jamie Standen taking over in the interim
  • Search for a successor

(exechange) — Overland Park, Kansas, April 25, 2017 — Doug Linehan, finance chief of Compass Minerals, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Compass Minerals International, Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Tuesday, April 25, 2017, Patrick Douglas (Doug) Linehan, Chief Financial Officer, leaves the producer of minerals in a surprising move after a few weeks on the job, effective immediately.

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

Compass Minerals will undertake a search for a successor.

Linehan’s duties are taken over in the interim by Jamie Standen, currently vice president, finance and treasurer at Compass Minerals International, Inc.

“Unforeseen personal circumstances”

The sudden management change is explained as follows. Compass Minerals said: Linehan “is departing the company due to unforeseen personal circumstances”.

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

“No disputes”

“Linehan’s departure involves no disputes with the company or issues regarding accounting practices, financial statements or operations,” Compass said.

Compass further said: “Mr. Linehan’s resignation did not result from any disagreements regarding the Company’s strategy, operations, financial reporting or accounting policies, procedures, estimates or judgments.”

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.

CEO: Fran Malecha

Fran Malecha serves as CEO of Compass Minerals International, Inc. Fran Malecha joined Compass Minerals as president and CEO in January 2013.

On the job as CFO since 2017

On March 28, 2017, Compass Minerals announced the appointment of Patrick “Doug” Linehan as the company’s chief financial officer effective April 3, 2017.

Linehan was responsible for all aspects of financial management, including accounting, reporting, tax, internal audit, treasury, financial planning and analysis and investor relations.

Prior to joining the company, Linehan was with ConAgra Foods, Inc., a Fortune 500 packaged foods company, where he most recently served as senior vice president, finance of ConAgra’s consumer brands business.

He joined ConAgra in 1999 and held various finance and accounting leadership positions with increasing responsibility.

Prior to joining ConAgra, Linehan was with Deloitte LLP.

Linehan holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Oklahoma State University and is a certified public accountant.

At the time of Linehan’s appointment as Chief Financial Officer at Compass Minerals, Fran Malecha had said: “We are pleased to welcome Doug to the Compass Minerals leadership team. He brings deep public company experience and a strong background in fostering a culture of compliance and efficiency. His combination of corporate and operational finance experience will allow him to be an effective partner in driving a high performance culture throughout our company. I look forward to working with Doug to deliver on our commitments to increase shareholder value while maintaining strong financial discipline.”

Signs for push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Doug Linehan’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 18.2017 ($).