Mitek CFO Russ Clark leaves post abruptly

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After almost six years on the job
  • Thanks and good wishes for Clark
  • Jeff Davison taking over

(exechange) — San Diego, California and London, United Kingdom, June 22, 2017 — Russ Clark, finance chief of Mitek, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Mitek Systems, Inc. in a news release published on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 and in a regulatory filing published on Thursday, June 22, 2017, Russell C. (Russ) Clark leaves the post as Chief Financial Officer at the software company in a surprising move after almost six years on the job, effective immediately.

Clark leaves the company effective July 01, 2017.

Clark’s duties are taken over by Jeff Davison, most recently Senior Vice President, Sales Success at NetSuite Inc.

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

“To pursue other opportunities”

The sudden management change is explained as follows. Mitek said: Russ Clark “is leaving the company to pursue other opportunities”.

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

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

Alarm signal

Generally speaking, it is often a wake-up call for stockholders when a CFO leaves the post abruptly and without a reasonable explanation.

“Not the result of any disagreement”

“Mr. Clark’s resignation was not the result of any disagreement with respect to the Company’s operations, policies or practices,” Mitek 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 rise since October 2014

The change follows a rise in the share price of Mitek Systems, Inc. since October 2014.

Chaired by James B. DeBello

Mitek Systems, Inc. is chaired by James B. DeBello.

On the job as CFO since 2011

Russell C. Clark served as the Chief Financial Officer of Mitek Systems, Inc. since October 11, 2011.

Prior to Mitek, Clark served as SVP, Finance at Epicor Software.

He led a successful turnaround as Chief Accounting Officer at Peregrine Systems.

He also served as Vice President Finance at FICO and as SVP, Finance at HNC Software.

He holds a BA with an emphasis in Accounting from the University of Iowa and is a CPA.

Clark’s resignation from the Company will be effective July 1, 2017 and until such time, Clark will remain as an employee of the Company to assist with the transition of the Company’s new Chief Financial Officer, at the same base salary as Clark received during his service as Chief Financial Officer.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Russ Clark’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 26.2017 ($).