Era CFO Andy Puhala leaves abruptly

  • Push-out Score suggests signs for push-out forces
  • After less than two years on the job
  • Thanks and good wishes for Puhala
  • Jennifer Whalen taking over in the interim

(exechange) — Houston, Texas, June 16, 2017 — Andy Puhala, finance chief of Era, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Era Group Inc. in a news release on Friday, June 16, 2017, Andrew Lewis (Andy) Puhala leaves the post as Chief Financial Officer at the helicopter operator in a surprising move after less than two years on the job, effective immediately.

Puhala’s duties are taken over in the interim by Jennifer Whalen, currently Chief Accounting Officer at Era Group Inc.

“To maintain a competitively advantaged cost structure”

The sudden management change is explained as follows. Era said in a fairly blunt statement: “This leadership change was implemented in connection with the elimination of multiple management positions to maintain a competitively advantaged cost structure.”

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

Share price decline

The change follows a sharp decline in the share price of Era Group Inc. since January 2017.

Chaired by Charles Fabrikant

Era Group Inc. is chaired by Charles Fabrikant.

Charles Fabrikant served as the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer from October 2011 to April 2012 and has served as Chairman of the Board since July 2011.

CEO: Christopher S. Bradshaw

Christopher S. Bradshaw serves as CEO of Era Group Inc. Bradshaw has served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company since November 2014 and Chief Financial Officer from October 2012 to September 2015.

On the job as CFO since 2015

Andrew Lewis Puhala has been the Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President of Era Group Inc. and Era Helicopters, LLC since September 14, 2015.

Puhala was appointed Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer upon joining Era in September 2015.

Prior to joining Era, Puhala spent more than 20 years in the energy industry, most recently as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of American Electric Technologies, Inc. from January 2013 to September 2015.

His previous work experience also includes Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of AccessESP and a 15-year tenure with Baker Hughes, where he held numerous senior management positions including Vice President Finance – Corporate Development.

Puhala holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Professional Accounting from the University of Texas at Austin.

At the time of Puhala’s appointment as Chief Financial Officer at Era, Christopher Bradshaw, then Era’s President, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, had said: “Andy brings well-rounded experience in numerous senior financial roles, including CFO, within the energy industry. His executive leadership experience, personal integrity, technical abilities and energetic drive make him a good fit for this important role at Era. Andy complements our senior management team as we work together to continue providing safe, efficient and reliable customer service.”

Push-out Score suggests signs for push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Andy Puhala’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 25.2017 ($).