FreightCar CEO Joe McNeely leaves at short notice

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After almost four years on the job
  • Praise, thanks and good wishes for McNeely
  • Jim Meyer taking over

(exechange) — Chicago, Illinois, July 18, 2017 — Joe McNeely, chief executive of FreightCar, leaves the position — “by mutual consent”. It is a change at short notice. As announced by FreightCar America, Inc. in a news release on Tuesday, July 18, 2017, Joseph E. (Joe) McNeely leaves the post as Chief Executive Officer at the maker of railroad freight cars in a surprising move after almost four years on the job, effective July 31, 2017.

McNeely’s duties are taken over by Jim Meyer, a former Chief Operating Officer at Allied Specialty Vehicles, Inc.

The fact that McNeely’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 new opportunities”

The imminent management change is explained as follows. FreightCar said: “Mr. Meyer will succeed Joseph E. McNeely, who will leave the Company by mutual consent to pursue new opportunities.”

The phrase “to pursue new opportunities” is often used in corporate announcements and opens the door to speculation.

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

Alarm signal

Generally speaking, it is often an alarm signal for stockholders when a CEO leaves the post at short notice and without a reasonable explanation.

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of FreightCar America, Inc. since September 2014.

Chaired by William D. Gehl

FreightCar America, Inc. is chaired by William D. Gehl.

William D. Gehl has served as a director since May 2007, Chairman of the Board since January 2013, and is also a member of the Company’s audit and nominating & corporate governance committees.

On the job as CEO since 2013

Joseph E. McNeely was appointed as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer effective October 4, 2013, and has served as a director since that date.

McNeely was appointed as President of the Company, effective May 1, 2013.

McNeely served as the Company’s Vice President of Finance, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer from September 2010 until May 2013.

Prior to joining the Company, McNeely served as a Vice President, Sales and Marketing for Mitsui Rail Capital, LLC, a railcar leasing and services company.

While working for Mitsui Rail, McNeely focused his efforts on railcar leasing and marketing, business development and diversifying its railcar portfolio.

Previously, he held positions at GATX Corporation, including Vice President Finance for GATX Rail and Vice President Finance and IT for GATX Terminals Corporation.

Prior to joining GATX, McNeely spent 12 years at Arthur Andersen LLP.

McNeely is a Certified Public Accountant.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Joe McNeely’s imminent 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 30.2017 ($).