Stewart CEO Matt Morris leaves his post

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After almost eight years in the position
  • Fred Eppinger taking over
  • Morris will remain as President at Stewart

(exechange) — Houston, Texas, September 12, 2019 — Matt Morris, chief executive of Stewart, leaves his position. As announced by Stewart Information Services Corp. in a news release published on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 and in a regulatory filing published on Thursday, September 12, 2019, Matthew W. (Matt) Morris leaves his post as Chief Executive Officer at the real estate services company after almost eight years in the role, effective immediately.

Among the 3,000 largest publicly held companies incorporated in the U.S. based on market capitalization, the average tenure of the CEOs who announced their departure over the past 12 months was 7.3 years, according to data compiled by exechange.

Matt Morris’s duties as CEO will be taken over by Frederick (Fred) Eppinger, most recently President, CEO and director of The Hanover Insurance Group.

Already a director

Eppinger is already a director of Stewart. Often a board member is a last resort, someone who is turned to in desperation when a company cannot find suitable candidates. On the other hand, directors-turned-executives represent a blend of outsider and insider.

They don’t have the constraints of a pure insider when it comes to leading painful changes or making unpopular decisions, and they have more company knowledge than a pure outsider.

Having been a director, Eppinger understands the expectations and dynamics of the board and has knowledge of Stewart’s organization, risk-management practices and strategy.

“To maximize the ongoing execution of its strategy”

Matt Morris’s departure from the CEO post is explained as follows. Stewart said: “Stewart has also announced changes to its executive leadership to maximize the ongoing execution of its strategy.”

Morris will remain as President at Stewart

“Matthew Morris, who has served as Chief Executive Officer since 2011, will remain with Stewart and assume the role of President. John Killea will continue to serve as the Chief Legal Officer and Chief Compliance Officer of Stewart,” Stewart said.

Stewart said: “Effective immediately, current director Frederick Eppinger will become Chief Executive Officer while Matthew Morris, who has served as Chief Executive Officer since 2011, will remain with the company and assume the role of President.”

Stewart further said: “On September 8, 2019, Frederick Eppinger was appointed as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Stewart Information Services Corporation (“Stewart”).”

Share price decline

The announcement follows a decline in Stewart Information Services Corporation’s share price of 19% since January 2019.

In the position of CEO since 2011

Matt Morris became CEO of the Company in November 2011.

As CEO, Morris focused on enhancing growth and financial performance while preserving Stewart’s culture of integrity and service to customers.

Previously, he was senior executive vice president for Stewart Information Services Corporation, Stewart Title Company and Stewart Title Guaranty Company.

Morris also served as the president of the former Stewart Professional Solutions Division, overseeing home office and back office functions including marketing, information technology, human resources, finance and accounting, the strategy and program management office, and audit/risk management for the Stewart companies.

Morris rejoined Stewart in May 2004 to serve as senior vice president of Planning and Development.

Prior to rejoining Stewart, he served as director for a strategic litigation consulting firm, offering trial and settlement sciences and communications strategy.

Morris graduated from Southern Methodist University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in organizational behavior and business policy, and received his MBA from the University of Texas with a concentration in finance.

Push-out Score determined

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange gauges the pressure surrounding the management change on a scale of 0 to 10.

exechange reached out to Stewart and offered the company the opportunity to comment on the score.

Read the full story in the exechange report 37.2019 ($).