New Jersey Resources CEO Larry Downes leaves

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After around 24 years in the position
  • Praise and thanks for Downes
  • Steve Westhoven taking over
  • Downes said 108 words

(exechange) — Wall, New Jersey, July 12, 2019 — Larry Downes, chief executive of New Jersey Resources, leaves. As announced by New Jersey Resources Corp. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Friday, July 12, 2019, Laurence M. (Larry) Downes leaves his post as Chief Executive Officer at the provider of retail and wholesale energy services after around 24 years in the role, effective September 30, 2019.

It is the end of an era.

Among the 3,000 largest publicly held companies incorporated in the U.S. based on market capitalization, the average tenure of the CEOs who departed over the past 12 months was 7.4 years, according to data compiled by exechange. Only 2 percent of the CEOs who departed over the past 12 months left their position after more than 20 years.

Larry Downes’s duties as CEO will be taken over by Stephen D. (Steve) Westhoven, currently Chief Operating Officer of New Jersey Resources Corporation.

“Succession plan”

Larry Downes’s departure from the CEO post is explained as follows. New Jersey Resources said: “In line with NJR’s succession plan, the Board of Directors announced Steve Westhoven, President and Chief Operating Officer (COO), age 51, will become President and CEO on October 1, 2019.”

Precise information regarding Larry Downes’s future plans was not immediately available.


New Jersey Resources said: “New Jersey Resources Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Laurence M. Downes, 61, today announced he will retire on September 30, 2019, after 34 years with the company, 24 as CEO.”

New Jersey Resources further said: “Laurence M. Downes, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of New Jersey Resources Corporation (“NJR”), announced at NJR’s July 8, 2019 Board of Directors meeting his intent to retire from his position as Chief Executive Officer of NJR and its principal subsidiaries, including New Jersey Natural Gas Company, effective September 30, 2019.”

Share price increase since July 1995

The announcement follows an increase in New Jersey Resources Corporation’s share price of 838 percent since July 1995.

In the position of CEO since 1995

Downes will continue to serve as Chairman of the NJR Board until the Annual Shareowners Meeting on January 22, 2020.

Downes joined NJR in 1985 and was named Treasurer in 1986, followed by Vice President and Treasurer in 1988.

He was promoted to Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of NJR in 1990 and Executive Vice President of New Jersey Natural Gas in 1994.

In 1995, Downes was promoted to President and CEO, and he was named Chairman of NJR’s Board of Directors in September 1996.

As of October 1, 2018, as part of the Company’s succession planning, Downes relinquished his position as President.

Push-out Score determined

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange gauges the pressure surrounding the management change on a scale of 0 to 10.

exechange reached out to New Jersey Resources and offered the company the opportunity to comment on the score.

Read the full story in the exechange report 28.2019 ($).