Frank’s CEO Douglas Stephens leaves abruptly

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After less than one year on the job
  • Mike Kearney taking over

(exechange) — Houston, Texas, September 27, 2017 — Douglas Stephens, chief executive of Frank’s, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Frank’s International N.V. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Wednesday, September 27, 2017, Douglas G. Stephens has already left the post as Chief Executive Officer at the oil services company after less than one year on the job, effective September 26, 2017.

No company wants a CEO to flame out in the first year.

Among the 3,000 largest publicly held companies incorporated in the U.S. based on market capitalization, only 3 percent of the CEOs who departed over the past twelve months left within their first year. Around 11 percent left within two years, and 22 percent left within three years. Overall, the average tenure of those who left was 9.1 years, according to data compiled by exechange.

Stephens’ duties are taken over by Mike Kearney, currently Chairman at Frank’s International N.V.

“To pursue other interests”

The sudden management change is explained as follows. Frank’s said: “Mr. Kearney replaces Douglas G. Stephens who has left the Company and its Board of Supervisory Directors to pursue other interests.”

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

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

Alarm signal

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

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of Frank’s International N.V. since October 2013.

On the job as CEO since 2016

Douglas Stephens has been the Chief Executive Officer and President at Frank’s International N.V. since November 15, 2016.

Stephens previously served as President, Pressure Pumping, of Baker Hughes Incorporated, a global oilfield services company, from June 2012 to November 2016.

Prior to joining Baker Hughes, Stephens was Vice President and Global Account Director at Schlumberger Limited, a global oilfield services company, from June 2009 until June 2012.

Previously, Stephens served in various positions of leadership at Schlumberger and as a member of the board of directors of Packers Plus.

Stephens has over 28 years of experience in the oilfield services sector and holds a B.A.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of British Columbia.

At the time of Stephens’ appointment as Chief Executive Officer at Frank’s, Michael Kearney, then Chairman of Frank’s Board, had commented: “The Board of Supervisory Directors is extremely excited to have Douglas join the Frank’s team at this important juncture in the long, highly successful history of the Company. We have complete confidence in Douglas based on his leadership abilities and extensive, worldwide oil service experience. As our Board considered candidates for our leadership succession plan, Douglas became a clear choice to continue the success achieved by our prior CEOs.”

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Douglas Stephens’ 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 40.2017 ($).