Santander Consumer USA CEO Jason Kulas leaves abruptly

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After about two years on the job
  • Thanks and good wishes for Kulas
  • Scott Powell taking over

(exechange) — Dallas, Texas, August 28, 2017 — Jason Kulas, chief executive of Santander Consumer USA, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Santander Consumer USA Holdings Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Monday, August 28, 2017, Jason A. Kulas has already left the post as Chief Executive Officer at the subprime car-loans company in a surprising move after about two years on the job, effective August 27, 2017.

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

Among the 3,000 largest publicly held companies incorporated in the U.S. based on market capitalization, only 23 percent of the CEOs who departed over the past twelve months left within three years. Overall, the average tenure of those who left was 8.7 years, according to data compiled by exechange.

Kulas’ move comes 14 months after William Rainer took over as chairman of Santander Consumer USA Holdings Inc.

Kulas’ duties are taken over by Scott Powell, currently Chief Executive Officer at Santander Holdings USA, Inc.

“To pursue other opportunities”

The sudden management change is explained as follows. Santander Consumer USA said: “Kulas is stepping down to pursue other opportunities.”

The phrase “to pursue other opportunities” opens the door to speculation.

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

Alarm signal

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

“Stepping down/resignation”

Santander Consumer USA said: “Scott Powell will succeed Jason Kulas as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately.”

Santander Consumer USA further said: “After more than a decade of service to SC, Kulas is stepping down.”

Santander Consumer USA further said: “[O]n August 25, 2017, Jason A. Kulas submitted his resignation as a member of the Board and, on August 27, 2017, he submitted his resignation as President and Chief Executive Officer; both resignations were effective on August 27, 2017.”

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of Santander Consumer USA Holdings Inc. since June 2015.

Banco Santander, S.A. holds 58.7 percent stake

Banco Santander, S.A. reported a 58.7 percent stake in Santander Consumer USA Holdings Inc. as of June 29, 2017. Banco Santander is a Spanish banking group.

Chaired by William Rainer

Santander Consumer USA Holdings Inc. is chaired by William Rainer.

Rainer was elected to serve on the Company’s Board of Directors in July 2015 and appointed the Chair of the Board and the Chair of the Company’s Executive Committee in July 2016.

On the job as CEO since 2015

Kulas has served as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) since July 2015 and as the Company’s President since February 2016, having previously served as the Company’s President from November 2013 to July 2015 and the Company’s Chief Financial Officer from January 2007 to July 2015.

Since July 2015, he has also served as a director, having previously served on the Company’s Board from 2007 to 2012.

He also served as a director of SHUSA from October 2015 to September 2016.

Prior to joining the Company, Kulas was a Managing Director in investment banking for JPMorgan Securities, Inc., where he was employed from 1995 to 2007.

He also worked previously at Dun & Bradstreet and as an adjunct professor at Texas Christian University.

Kulas also served on the board of directors of the nonprofit Santander Consumer USA Inc. Foundation.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Southern Methodist University and a master’s degree in business administration from Texas Christian University.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Jason Kulas’ 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 36.2017 ($).