Progress CFO Kurt Abkemeier leaves abruptly

  • Signs for push-out forces
  • After about half a year on the job
  • Praise and good wishes for Abkemeier
  • Paul Jalbert taking over

(exechange) — Bedford, Massachusetts, March 29, 2017 — Kurt Abkemeier, finance chief of Progress, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Progress Software Corporation in a news release on Wednesday, March 29, 2017, Kurt Abkemeier leaves the post as chief financial officer at the software company in a surprising move after about half a year on the job, effective immediately.

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

Abkemeier’s move comes six months after Yogesh Gupta took over as CEO of Progress.

Abkemeier’s duties are taken over by Paul Jalbert, currently chief accounting officer at Progress Software Corporation.

No reason given

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

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

Alarm signal

Generally speaking, it is often an alarm signal for investors when a CFO leaves the post abruptly and without comprehensible reasons being given.

“Will leave the company”

Progress said: “As CFO, Jalbert replaces Kurt Abkemeier, who will leave the company effective immediately.”

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of Progress Software Corporation since January 2017.

Praesidium holds 11.92 percent stake

Praesidium Investment Management Company LLC reported an 11.92 percent stake in Progress Software Corporation as of December 31, 2016.

Chaired by Jack Egan

Progress Software Corporation is chaired by Jack Egan.

Jack Egan is currently managing partner of Egan-Managed Capital, a Boston based venture capital fund he founded in October 1998 that specializes in technology and early stage investments.

CEO: Yogesh Gupta

Yogesh Gupta serves as CEO of Progress Software Corporation. Yogesh Gupta has been the Chief Executive Officer of Progress Software Corporation since October 10, 2016 and has been its President since October 2016.

On the job as CFO since 2016

Kurt J. Abkemeier has been Chief Financial Officer of Progress Software Corporation since September 2016.

Kurt Abkemeier’s bio most recently provided by Progress on its leadership page read as follows: “Chief Financial Officer, Kurt Abkemeier, provides the financial leadership Progress needs to make smarter and faster operational decisions. Kurt brings out the best in his team so they, in turn, can empower Progress leaders with the clarity and support they need to move the company forward.

Kurt has over 20 years of financial experience forming financial strategies, raising capital and taking companies from the earliest stages through IPOs by motivating large teams. In fact, Kurt mentors and inspires his teams to push past what might be comfortable, en route to personal success, career growth—and strong business outcomes.

A deeply creative person, Kurt plays the guitar and appreciates music, painting and all manner of creative expression. It’s these dueling passions that have made Kurt such a valuable contributor as the CFO of Inteliquent, Flashpoint Mentor at Georgia Institute of Technology, Vice President, Finance and Treasurer at Cbeyond and Director of Finance and Strategic Planning at AirGate PCS. While at Cbeyond, he coordinated a $70M IPO with a secondary offering of over $100M.

Kurt is a Chartered Financial Analyst who earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Economics from Cornell University.”

At the time of Abkemeier’s appointment as chief financial officer at Progress, Phil Pead, then president and chief executive officer, had said: “We are delighted with the appointment of Kurt Abkemeier after a search process that considered a very strong field of candidates. Kurt is an accomplished executive with significant financial and operational expertise, including as a CFO, and will be an exceptional addition to our team. Kurt has broad experience serving in global, technology-driven companies and his depth of financial and operational experience will be invaluable in helping us achieve our strategic business objectives.”

Signs for push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Kurt Abkemeier’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 14.2017 ($).