Forterra CFO Matt Brown leaves abruptly

  • After two years on the job
  • Thanks and good wishes for Matt Brown
  • Charlie Brown taking over

(exechange) — Irving, Texas, September 07, 2017 — Matt Brown, finance chief of Forterra, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Forterra, Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Thursday, September 07, 2017, William Matthew (Matt) Matt Brown has already left the post as Chief Financial Officer at the concrete pipe manufacturing company after two years on the job, effective September 06, 2017.

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

Among the 3,000 largest publicly held companies incorporated in the U.S. based on market capitalization, only 36 percent of the CFOs who departed over the past twelve months left within three years. Overall, the average tenure of those who left was 5.6 years, according to data compiled by exechange.

Matt Brown’s duties are taken over by Charlie Brown, currently Chief Financial Officer at Oldcastle Materials Company.

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

In general, an outsider does not have the constraints of an insider when it comes to leading painful changes or making unpopular decisions.

“To pursue other opportunities”

The sudden management change is explained as follows. Forterra said: “Mr. Matt Brown, whose resignation was effective immediately, resigned to pursue other opportunities.”

The phrase “to pursue other opportunities” opens the door to speculation.

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

Alarm signal

Generally speaking, it is often an alarm signal for investors when a CFO leaves the position abruptly and without a reasonable explanation.

“Resigned”

Forterra said: “On September 6, 2017, Mr. Matt Brown resigned as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Forterra, Inc. … and the Company appointed Mr. Charlie Brown to serve as the Company’s new Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.”

“Not motivated by any disagreements”

“Matt Brown`s decision to resign was not motivated by any disagreements over financial statements or disclosures,” Forterra said.

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.

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of Forterra, Inc. since May 2017.

Chaired by Chris Meyer

Forterra, Inc. is chaired by Chris Meyer.

CEO: Jeff Bradley

Jeff Bradley serves as CEO of Forterra, Inc. Bradley has served as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer since September 2015 and a member of the Company’s board of directors since July 2016.

On the job as CFO since 2015

William Matthew Brown has been the Chief Financial Officer of Forterra, Inc. since August 26, 2015.

Brown has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since April 2016 and as the Company’s Chief Financial Officer since August 2015.

From August 2012 through August 2015, Brown served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of U.S. Concrete, Inc., a publicly-traded producer of ready-mixed concrete and aggregate products.

From November 2007 through August 2012, Brown served as the Treasurer and Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer, and from 2005 through 2007, as the Treasurer of Drummond Company, Inc., an international coal producer.

From 1999 through 2005, Brown served in the investment banking department of Citigroup Global Markets Inc., including as a Vice President in the basic industries coverage group.

From 1988 through 1997, Brown served in the United States Navy as a Naval Special Warfare Officer.

Brown holds a Master of Business Administration degree from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the United States Naval Academy.

Read the full story in the exechange report 37.2017 ($).