Vera Bradley CFO Kevin Sierks leaves at short notice

  • Signs for push-out forces
  • After about three years on the job
  • John Enwright taking over in the interim
  • Search for a successor

(management-change.com) — Roanoke, Indiana, February 10, 2017 — Kevin Sierks, finance chief of Vera Bradley, leaves. It is a change at short notice. As announced by Vera Bradley, Inc. in a regulatory filing published on Friday, February 10, 2017, Kevin Sierks, Chief Financial Officer, leaves the luggage and handbag design company in a surprising move after about three years on the job, effective March 31, 2017.

Vera Bradley will undertake a search for a successor.

Sierks’ duties are taken over in the interim by John Enwright, currently Vice President of Financial Planning and Analysis at Vera Bradley, Inc.

No reason given

In the announcement, Vera Bradley did not explicitly explain the reason for Sierks’ imminent move, leaving room for speculation.

Alarm signal

Generally speaking, it is often a wake-up call for stockholders when a CFO leaves the position at short notice and without a reasonable explanation.

“Leaving”

Vera Bradley said: “Kevin Sierks, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Vera Bradley, will be leaving the Company on March 31, 2017.”

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

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of Vera Bradley, Inc. since April 2014.

Daruma holds 9.06 percent stake

Daruma Capital Management LLC reported a 9.06 percent stake in Vera Bradley, Inc. as of September 30, 2016. Daruma is a hedge fund.

Chaired by Robert J. Hall

Vera Bradley, Inc. is chaired by Robert J. Hall.

Hall has served as Chairman of the Board since September 2010.

CEO: Robert Wallstrom

Robert Wallstrom serves as CEO of Vera Bradley, Inc. Wallstrom joined Vera Bradley as its President and Chief Executive Officer in 2013.

On the job as CFO since 2014

Kevin J. Sierks was promoted to Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, in February 2014.

Sierks joined the Company in December 2011 as Vice President, Controller and Chief Accounting Officer and was appointed interim Chief Financial Officer in January 2013.

Sierks has extensive experience in accounting and finance roles with various public companies.

Before joining Vera Bradley, Sierks served as the Vice President and Corporate Controller for Biomet, Inc. from October 2007 to December 2011.

Prior to that, he served in various financial and accounting positions with Boston Scientific Corporation from 2002 to 2007 and at Deloitte from 1995 to 2002.

Unexpected

As a general rule, when a top manager announces to step aside with no permanent successor in place, it’s a sign that the change was unexpected and too early.

Generally speaking, possible causes for an unplanned management change may be, among others, disagreement, family reasons, health reasons or surprising new career opportunities.

Signs for push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Kevin Sierks’ move.

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

Read the full story in the management-change.com report 07.2017 ($).