FTD CEO Rob Apatoff leaves abruptly

  • Strong signs for push-out forces
  • After three years on the job
  • Laud, praise, thanks and good wishes for Apatoff
  • Chris Shean to take over in the interim
  • Search for a successor

(management-change.com) — Downers Grove, Illinois, November 04, 2016 — Rob Apatoff, chief executive of FTD, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by FTD Companies, Inc. in a news release on Friday, November 04, 2016, Robert S. (Rob) Apatoff leaves the post as Chief Executive Officer at the floral and gifting company in a surprising move after three years on the job, effective immediately.

FTD will undertake a search for a successor.

Apatoff’s duties are taken over in the interim by Chris Shean, most recently Chief Executive Officer at Liberty Expedia Holdings.

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

No reason given

In the announcement, FTD did not explicitly explain the obviously compelling reason for Apatoff’s sudden move, leaving room for speculation.

FTD will report results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2016 on Monday, November 7, 2016 after market close.

Alarm signal

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

“Stepped down”

FTD said: Apatoff “has stepped down from these positions [President and Chief Executive Officer] and from FTD’s board of directors”.

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

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of FTD Companies, Inc. since March 2015.

Chaired by Robert Berglass

FTD Companies, Inc. is chaired by Robert Berglass.

Berglass has served as the non-executive Chairman of FTD’s board of directors since November 2013.

On the job as CEO since 2013

Apatoff will continue in a transitional advisory role to the Company through December 31, 2016.

Robert S. Apatoff has been FTD’s President and Chief Executive Officer since November 1, 2013, and has served as one of FTD’s directors since November 2013.

Apatoff served as President of FTD Group, Inc. from November 2008 to October 2013.

He also served as a member of the board of directors of FTD Group, Inc. from November 2004 to August 2008.

From August 2003 to May 2008, Apatoff served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Rand McNally & Company and then as Managing Director of Patriarch Partners, LLC’s consumer brands portfolio from May to October 2008, following Patriarch’s acquisition of Rand McNally & Company.

Prior to that, Apatoff served as Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at The Allstate Corporation, and held senior management and marketing positions at Aetna, Inc., L.A. Gear, Inc., Reebok International, Ltd. and Anheuser-Busch, Inc.

Apatoff earned a Bachelor of Arts in communications from DePauw University.

Unexpected

As a general rule, when a top manager announces to step aside with no permanent successor in place, it is a signal that the change was unplanned and too early.

Strong signs for push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Rob Apatoff’s move.

The Push-out Score™ determined by management-change.com suggests strong signs for push-out forces that may have contributed to the management change.

Read the full story in the management-change.com report 41.2016 ($).