Platform CFO Sanjiv Khattri leaves abruptly

  • Signs for push-out forces
  • After about a year and a half on the job
  • Praise and good wishes for Khattri
  • John P. Connolly taking over

(exechange) — West Palm Beach, Florida, March 16, 2017 — Sanjiv Khattri, finance chief of Platform, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Platform Specialty Products Corporation in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Thursday, March 16, 2017, Sanjiv Khattri leaves the post as Chief Financial Officer at the specialty chemicals company in a surprising move after about a year and a half on the job, effective immediately.

No company wants a CFO to flame out in the first years.

Khattri’s duties are taken over by John P. Connolly, most recently Vice President, Corporate Controller and Chief Accounting Officer at Platform Specialty Products Corporation.

No reason given

In the announcement, Platform did not explicitly explain the obviously compelling reason for Khattri’s sudden move, opening the door for speculation.

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

Alarm signal

Generally speaking, it is often an alarm signal for stockholders when a CFO leaves the position abruptly and without a reasonable explanation.

“Resigned”

Platform said: “Sanjiv Khattri had resigned as Platform’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, effective March 16, 2017.”

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of Platform Specialty Products Corporation since June 2015.

Pershing Square holds 14.53 percent stake

Pershing Square Capital Management, L.P. reported a 14.53 percent stake in Platform Specialty Products Corporation as of December 31, 2016. Pershing Square is a hedge fund management company founded and run by Bill Ackman.

Chaired by Martin E. Franklin

Platform Specialty Products Corporation is chaired by Martin E. Franklin.

Martin E. Franklin, the Company’s founder and a director of Platform since April 2013, has served as the Company’s Chairman since October 2013.

CEO: Rakesh Sachdev

Rakesh Sachdev serves as CEO of Platform Specialty Products Corporation. Rakesh Sachdev has been the Chief Executive Officer of Platform Specialty Products Corporation since January 5, 2016. Prior to joining Platform, Sachdev served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Sigma-Aldrich Corporation beginning in 2010.

On the job as CFO since 2015

Sanjiv Khattri has been the Chief Financial Officer of Platform Specialty Products Corporation since September 14, 2015 and has been its Executive Vice President since November 20, 2015.

Prior to joining Platform, Khattri served as the Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President at Covanta Holding Corporation (“Covanta”) from August 2010 to November 2013.

Prior to joining Covanta, Khattri had a lengthy career with General Motors (“GM”) and GMAC Financial Services aka Ally Financial (“GMAC”) from 1989 until 2008, where he had significant leadership assigments in treasury, business development, controller and special project functions, both in the United States and overseas.

He was appointed Chief Financial Officer of GMAC in February 2004, and was instrumental in guiding GMAC to its evolution from a wholly-owned subsidiary of GM to a standalone diversified global financial services company, controlled by a consortium of investors led by Cerberus.

Khattri also serves as an Advisory Director of Silver Lane Advisors LLC since 2009.

Khattri is active in philanthropic activities and most recently, he retired after nine years from the board of The Global Fund for Children, a DC-based global charity focused on creating awareness and providing support to address the needs of vulnerable children and youth.

Signs for push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Sanjiv Khattri’s 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 12.2017 ($).