Photronics CFO Sean Smith leaves at short notice

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After almost 16 years on the job
  • Accolades, praise, thanks and good wishes for Smith
  • John Jordan taking over

(exechange) — Brookfield, Connecticut, August 14, 2017 — Sean Smith, finance chief of Photronics, leaves. It is a change at short notice. As announced by Photronics, Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Monday, August 14, 2017, Sean T. Smith leaves the post as chief financial officer at the provider of imaging products for the electronics industry in a surprising move after almost 16 years on the job, effective September 04, 2017.

It is the end of an era.

Among the 3,000 largest publicly held companies incorporated in the U.S. based on market capitalization, only 17 percent of the CFOs who departed over the past twelve months left after more than ten years. Overall, the average tenure of those who left was 5.5 years, according to data compiled by exechange.

Smith’s duties are taken over by John Jordan, most recently interim vice president, chief financial officer, treasurer and controller at AstroNova, Inc.

The fact that Smith’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, Photronics did not explicitly explain the reason for Smith’s imminent move, leaving room for speculation.

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

Wake-up call

Generally speaking, it is often an alarm signal for investors when a CFO leaves the position at short notice and without a reasonable explanation.

“Retire/resign”

Photronics said: “Sean T. Smith will retire as senior vice president and chief financial officer of the company, a position he has held since 2002, effective September 4, 2017.”

Photronics further said: “On August 14, 2017, the Company announced that Sean T. Smith the Company’s senior vice president and chief financial officer, will resign from the Company as CFO effective September 4, 2017.”

Share price rise since February 2009

The change follows a rise in the share price of Photronics, Inc. since February 2009.

Chaired by Constantine S. Macricostas

Photronics, Inc. is chaired by Constantine S. Macricostas.

Constantine (Deno) S. Macricostas founded Photronics, Inc. in 1969. Macricostas served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer until May 2015 when he became Executive Chairman.

CEO: Peter S. Kirlin

Peter S. Kirlin serves as CEO of Photronics, Inc. Peter S. Kirlin joined Photronics in August 2008 as Senior Vice President, US and Europe. Kirlin became Chief Executive Officer in May of 2015 after having been named President in 2013.

On the job as CFO since 2002

Sean T. Smith was promoted to Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer on January 25, 2005.

He was promoted to Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in March 2002 after serving as Vice President and Controller.

He joined Photronics in April 2000 as the Company’s Corporate Controller.

Prior to joining Photronics, Smith was employed by Starter Corporation where he served as Controller and Chief Accounting Officer and Carvel where he held the position of Chief Financial Officer.

In addition, Smith spent 12 years at the public accounting firm of Ernst & Young serving publicly traded companies.

Smith is a Certified Public Accountant who graduated with honors from Quinnipiac College in Hamden, Connecticut where he previously served as an adjunct professor.

Smith will remain as principal accounting officer and principal financial officer through September, and then as a consultant through early December 2017.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Sean Smith’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 34.2017 ($).