Press citations

Featured by …

The Push-out Score and exechange were featured by The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, The Times, Bloomberg, NBC News, Observer, The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald, Vedomosti, Börsen-Zeitung, Stanford University and University of Groningen.


The Wall Street Journal (paywall)
(“Did the CEO Actually Get Fired? There’s a Decoder for That”)

“Daniel Schauber …, who founded a Frankfurt-based research firm, Exechange, has emerged as a cryptologist of top executive departures. By analyzing company announcements and other data, his proprietary formula produces a ‘Push-Out Score’ ranging from zero to 10.”
(August 13, 2017)


NBC News
(“Was a CEO Fired or Did They Retire? This Algorithm Claims to Have the Answer”)

(September 28, 2017)

Was A CEO Fired or Did They Retire? This Algorithm Claims To Have The Answer | Mach | NBC News


Harvard Business Review (paywall)
(“Leadership – Was the CEO fired or not?”)

“Among corporate euphemisms, few are more common than the announcement that an executive has resigned ‘to spend more time with family’ – a signal to most observers that the leader was fired. But it’s often hard to know for sure. The financial journalist Daniel Schauber devised the ‘push-out score,’ a model that gauges the likelihood that a resignation was voluntary. … By more clearly identifying situations in which the CEO has been pushed out, investors can better recognize when a company’s strategy isn’t working and identify investment risks that might not be apparent if a resignation is presumed to be voluntary.”
(November-December 2017)


The Times (paywall)
(“Did they jump or were they pushed? Algorithm finds ‘truth’ behind office exits”)

“Vague phrases such as ‘stepped down to pursue other interests’ and ‘departed from his position for personal reasons’ raise red flags, said Daniel Schauber, …, who sells his analysis through his research firm, Exechange.”
(August 15, 2017)


Agenda, a Financial Times service (paywall)
(“Boards Quicker to Fire CEOs”)

“Daniel Schauber, founder of, has created a scale to rate how forthcoming companies are when announcing the departure of a CEO. A 0 means the CEO left voluntarily, a 10 means he or she was fired outright. For all of 2018, the average has been more than 5, higher than any year since he developed the scale.”
(August 6, 2018)


(“Moonves Payout Loss Caps Wave of CEOs Called Out on Bad Behavior”)

“’Definitely, transparency has increased, especially regarding CEO cases,’ said Daniel Schauber, whose counted the 12 instances where boards specified misconduct among more than 200 CEOs who left their jobs at Russell 3000 companies this year. ‘This simply did not exist in 2017.’”
(December 20, 2018)


(“Corporate Boards Are No Longer Afraid to Say a CEO Was Fired”)

“Of the executives who left Russell 3000 companies this year, eight have been ousted with a specific reference to misconduct, compared with one in all of 2017, according to a separate analysis by, a group which tracks CEO departures. The web site’s founder is Daniel Schauber, an editor at German finance newspaper Borsen-Zeitung who became frustrated with corporate-speak when it came to reporting about a CEO who was ‘stepping down.’ Schauber developed a system that scores executive departures on a scale of 0, where they clearly left of their own volition, to 10, where they were clearly fired.”
(July 30, 2018)


Die Welt/Bloomberg
(“HeidelbergCement-Chefwechsel ist Deutschlands langweiligster”)

“Das … Analysemodell ‘Push-out Score’ misst den Druck auf die abgehenden CEOs auf einer Skala von 0 bis 10 und kommt zu dem Ergebnis, dass der kürzlich angekündigte Abgang von Bernd Scheifele bei HeidelbergCement mit einem Punktwert von null der langweiligste in jüngerer Zeit ist. Heinrich Hiesinger von Thyssenkrupp, Matthias Müller von Volkswagen, John Cryan von der Deutschen Bank und Carsten Kengeter von der Deutschen Börse mussten hingegen unter extremem Druck mit Push-out-Scores von jeweils 10 weichen.”
(March 6, 2019)


Agenda, a Financial Times service (paywall)
(“Facing Investors After Abrupt CEO Changes”)

“’A surprising CEO change shortly before the annual meeting is an enormous challenge for any company,’ writes Daniel Schauber, owner of the research firm exechange, which provides data and analysis on executive movements, in an e-mail. ‘A surprising CEO change always raises many questions among investors, especially when a permanent successor is still to be found.’”
(June 18, 2018)


Agenda, a Financial Times service (paywall)
(“‘Significant Decline’ in Internal CEO Hires”)

“The … departure earned a ‘push-out score’ of 10 from exechange, a firm that analyzes executive and CEO departures and rates them on a scale of zero to 10. A score of zero is most likely a voluntary departure while a score of 10 typically indicates that an executive was ‘pushed’ involuntarily out the door.”
(March 16, 2018)


(“Has #MeToo Made Large Companies More Honest About CEO Misconduct?”)

“If you feel you hear about CEOs of large companies stepping down over misconduct allegations more often now than six months ago, you are not delusional. Of the 144 CEOs who have stepped down from Russell 3000 companies (3,000 public companies included in the Russell 3000 index to reflect the overall price trend of the U.S. stock market; top holdings include Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, etc.) in this year so far, eight were ousted with specific reasons related to misconduct; this ratio in 2017 was one in 247 CEOs who stepped down, according to a new study published on Sunday by, an organization tracking CEO departures.”
(August 6, 2018)


The Sydney Morning Herald
(“Stop the weasel words around executive departures”)

“[A] German researcher … wrote an algorithm to examine top executive departures through wording in company announcements. The algorithm creates a push-out score from zero (voluntary departure) to 10 (forced). Announcements that omit praise for the chief executive or have fuzzy language such as ‘decided to leave’, lead to higher push-out scores. Many scores range in the middle, suggesting chief executives decide to leave after some subtle board encouragement.”
(August 17, 2017)


The Australian (paywall)
(“Decoding the cryptic language of sacking”)

“’I was fascinated,’ says Mr Schauber, who has analysed thousands of corporate announcements and their patterns. ‘It looks like boilerplate language, but if you look really closely at each word and how the words are weighed, each corporation has its own code. If there are deviations from that norm, there may be information there.’”
(August 17, 2017)


Ведомости (Vedomosti)
(„Как определить, ушел ли директор сам или его уволили“)

“46-летний лингвист, редактор финансового издания Börsenzeitung из Франкфурта Даниэль Шаубер основал исследовательскую фирму Exechange и разработал алгоритм для анализа сообщений компаний об уходе гендиректоров и других доступных данных. Его формула присваивает каждому случаю оценку от 0 до 10, где 0 – совершенно добровольный уход, 10 – явное принудительное отстранение от работы.“
(August 21, 2017)

(„Did the CEO Quit – or Was it a Resig-firing?“)

“Reading the tea leaves to determine whether a CEO was forced out is sometimes difficult. Corporate transition announcements tend to be ambiguous, and investors are often left to sort out for themselves whether the CEO was fired or resigned. Now financial journalist Daniel Schauber has come up with a model – the ‘Push-out Score’ – that he contends will help shed light on whether a CEO left voluntarily, or was shoved out the door.”
(June 5, 2017)


(„Deciphering the exit memo: Exechange analyzes why CEOs actually leave“)

“Daniel Schauber, the founder of Frankfurt, Germany-based startup Exechange, had a different reaction. The 46-year-old researcher wrote an algorithm that has put him in the forefront of ‘decoding’ executive departures—who comes, who leaves, who wants to go, who has to go—reported on a weekly basis.”
(August 24, 2017)


(„Science: Quit or fired? Algorithm decodes vague words“)

“The founder of a German research firm has developed an algorithm that helps decipher the sometimes-cryptic language in position-change announcements. … Daniel Schauber looks at factors such as fuzzy language, lack of praise for successes, quick departure timing, no immediate naming of a permanent successor, and the age of the departing employee to formulate a ‘push-out score’ between 0 and 10, where 0 is a completely voluntary departure and 10 is an outright firing.”
(August 14, 2017)


Fredrikson & Byron P.A.
(“CEO Exit ‘Codes’ Can Be Cracked, So Craft Departure Announcements Carefully”)

“Cryptic press releases announcing CEO departures can reveal more information than companies realize, thanks to an algorithm developed by a German linguist. Daniel Schauber, founder of research firm Exechange …, developed a scoring system to interpret the often-vague language of CEO departure announcements. He wanted to determine whether departures were voluntary or forced. Historically, there has been no way to tell. … Companies are advised to craft their CEO departure announcements carefully.”
(September 6, 2017)


(„Neues Modell stuft CEO-Wechsel ein“)

„Rücktritt oder Rauswurf? Wenn ein CEO den Posten verlässt, bleiben Investoren über die Motive oft im Unklaren. Ein neues Analyseinstrument namens Push-out Score bietet Hilfe für die Einschätzung. … Corporate-Governance-Experten der Universitäten Harvard und Stanford haben die Kapitalmarktrelevanz des Modells untersucht und festgestellt, dass CEO-Wechsel mit hohen Push-out Scores mit einer starken Aktienkursvolatilität einhergehen.“
(July 15, 2017)


Harvard Business Manager (paywall)
(“CEOs: Gefeuert oder gegangen?”)

“Zu den häufigsten Euphemismen in der Unternehmenswelt zählt die Bekanntmachung, dass eine Führungskraft ihr Amt aufgebe, um ‘mehr Zeit mit der Familie zu verbringen’. Die meisten Beobachter interpretieren dies als Hinweis darauf, dass der Manager gefeuert wurde. Doch sicher können sie sich dabei nicht sein. Für solche Fälle hat der Frankfurter Finanzjournalist Daniel Schauber den ‘Push-out Score’ entwickelt, ein Analyseinstrument, das abzuschätzen hilft, ob ein Abgang freiwillig war oder unfreiwillig.”
(January 2018)


Stanford Graduate School of Business
(“Retired or Fired: How Can Investors Tell if a CEO Was Pressured to Leave?”)

“The Push-out Score developed by exechange offers a systematic approach for combining observable evidence with expert human judgment to arrive at a reasonable assessment of the likelihood of CEO termination.”
(May 2017)


Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation
(“Retired or Fired: How Can Investors Tell If the CEO Left Voluntarily?”)

“Rather than definitely categorize executive departure as forced or voluntary, the Push-out Score offers a graded score that amounts to a confidence level that a CEO was terminated. … The data suggest that Push-out Scores are positively correlated with stock market volatility.”
(June 8, 2017)


University of Groningen
(“Retired or fired? Een algoritme om het vertrek van de baas te doorgronden”)

“Maar sinds kort is er een algoritme, ontwikkeld door de taalkundige en financieel journalist Daniel Schauber. Op basis van de analyse van aankondigingen van organisaties en aanvullend  onderzoek, bepaalt Schauber een zogenaamde ‘Push-Out score’. … De linguïst Schauber heeft er vooral plezier in om met zijn algoritme zogenaamde ‘corporate speak’ te ontcijferen, en te zoeken naar bijvoorbeeld verborgen of impliciete kritiek in teksten vol waardering, maar waarmee de CEO eigenlijk het graf in wordt geprezen.”
(October 5, 2017)


Janka Stoker and Harry Garretsen
(“Goede leiders zweven niet: de fundamenten van effectief leiderschap, in organisaties en de maatschappij”)

“Deze Push-out-score is niet alleen informatief over de reden van vertrek van een individuele CEO, maar kan ook over de totale groep CEO’s interessante informatie opleveren. Zo laat een vergelijking van de Push-out-scores tussen 2017 en 2018 zien dat de gemiddelde Push-out-score toeneemt, en dus dat CEO’s vaker gedwongen vertrekken.”
(October 25, 2018)

(“Neue Besen kehren gut!? – Kommunikative Herausforderungen rund um den CEO-Wechsel”)

“Die Zeit drängt – schließlich geht ein CEO-Wechsel fast immer mit einer Ad-hoc-Pflicht einher. … Dann also ans Werk: meist eine faktenbasierte und knappe Ad-hoc-Meldung sowie eine ergänzende ausführlichere Pressemeldung. Hier wird jedes Wort auf die Goldwaage gelegt, entsprechend sensibel beäugt und kommentiert. Welche Kriterien hierbei eine Rolle spielen, zeigt ein Blick auf den ‘Push-out Score’, den Daniel Schauber, Finanzjournalist der Börsen-Zeitung sowie Inhaber des Unternehmens exechange, entwickelt hat.”
(June 3, 2019)


The Wall Street Journal (paywall)
(“Skydiving, Mountain Climbing and Other Ways Execs Terrify Their Shareholders”)

“Pivotal business leaders rarely die on the job, according to research done by Frankfurt-based firm Exechange. The firm found that six CEOs in the Russell 3000 index died over the past 20 months, the most notable being CSX Corp. chief Hunter Harrison.”
(June 21, 2019)