Usana Co-CEO Dave Wentz leaves abruptly

  • Signs for push-out forces
  • After less than a year and a half on the job
  • “Years of disagreements and very little communication”
  • Laud, praise, thanks and good wishes for Wentz
  • Dual CEO role eliminated
  • Kevin Guest becomes sole Chief Executive Officer

(management-change.com) — Salt Lake City, Utah, November 23, 2016 — This news came the day before Thanksgiving Day. Dave Wentz, Co-CEO of Usana, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Usana Health Sciences, Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Wednesday, November 23, 2016, David A. (Dave) Wentz leaves the post as Co-CEO at the maker of nutritional products in a surprising move after less than a year and a half on the job, effective immediately.

Usana eliminates the dual CEO role. Kevin G. Guest will be sole Chief Executive Officer.

No reason given

In the announcement, Usana did not explicitly explain the obviously compelling reason for Wentz’ sudden move, leaving room for speculation.

“Personal decision”

Usana said: “David A. Wentz has made the personal decision to step down as Co-Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors effective immediately.”

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

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of Usana Health Sciences, Inc. since October 26, 2016.

Renaissance Technologies holds 6.52 percent stake

Renaissance Technologies, LLC reported a 6.52 percent stake in Usana Health Sciences, Inc. as of June 30, 2016. Renaissance Technologies is a hedge-fund firm, which relies on closely held computer models and algorithms.

Chaired by Myron W. Wentz

Usana Health Sciences, Inc. is chaired by Myron W. Wentz.

Myron W. Wentz, 75, founded Usana in 1992 and served as the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Usana from the time of its inception to July 2008, when he retired as Chief Executive Officer.

Myron W. Wentz is the father of Dave Wentz.

On the job as Co-CEO since 2015

Dave Wentz has been Co-Chief Executive Officer of Usana Health Sciences Inc. since August 4, 2015.

Dave Wentz served as the Chief Executive Officer of Usana Health Sciences Inc. since July 2008.

Dave Wentz received a bachelor’s degree in bioengineering from the University of California, San Diego.

He joined Usana in the summer of 1992 prior to the formal organization of the company.

At that time, Dave Wentz worked to develop the company “look,” establish product formulas, and prepare the company for its debut.

He has subsequently served in a myriad of managerial positions, including vice president of strategic development, senior vice president, executive vice president, and president.

As Usana’s co-chief executive officer, Dave Wentz directed and maintained the vision and integrity of Usana.

He managed all global operations, worked closely with the board of directors, and oversaw the corporate governance required of a publicly traded company.

He is an active member of the Direct Selling Association (DSA), where he has served in a variety of roles, including chairman of the Direct Selling Education Foundation and chairman of the DSA board.

Signs for push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Dave Wentz’ move.

The Push-out Score™ determined by management-change.com suggests that push-out forces may have contributed to the management change.

“Very heavy heart”

In an unusual step, on November 23, 2016, Dave Wentz posted on Facebook: “It is with a very heavy heart that I say goodbye to Usana, but I hope not to my Usana Family. I love this company and the thousands and thousands of people that I have had the great privilege to work alongside over the last 24 years.”

“This feels like a divorce where I have lost custody of my children”

On November 23, 2016, Dave Wentz further posted on Facebook: “Usana has been my family and my family’s family for so long that this feels like a divorce where I have lost custody of my children.”

“Dr Wentz and I could not find a way to make things work”

On November 23, 2016, Dave Wentz further posted on Facebook: “I had always expected to be with Usana until the end, but life is complex and things don’t always work out how we would hope. Unfortunately, Dr Wentz and I could not find a way to make things work.”

“Years of disagreements and very little communication”

On November 23, 2016, Dave Wentz further posted on Facebook: “After years of disagreements and very little communication, I realized that it would be best for everyone involved if we were to part ways. Fortunately Usana is in good hands with an incredible management team, passionate hardworking Associates and loyal Customers. I always said that Usana is bigger than any individual and will last way beyond all of our years.
I wish all of you and Usana much success and happiness!
Live it,
Dave”

Read the full story in the management-change.com report 44.2016 ($).