Market Overview

All The Major Executive Departures Of 2018 — So Far

All The Major Executive Departures Of 2018 — So Far

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (NYSE: FCAU) took a tumble after losing its legendary leader sooner than expected.

CEO Sergio Marchionne's retirement plan was widely known and a succession plan was already in progress Saturday when the company announced Marchionne's worsening health and the immediate appointment of Jeep's Mike Manley.

Marchionne is just the latest in a series of noteworthy executive departures this year; here are some of the others and how their respective stocks were impacted:  

This Year’s Executive Exits

  • August 6: PepsiCo, Inc. (NASDAQ: PEP) CEO Indra Nooyi announced her Oct. 3 departure, which she'd been planning for more than a year. President Ramon Laguarta will take her place. Shares popped marginally premarket on the news.
  • July 17: Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE: GS) CEO Lloyd Blankfein confirmed his September retirement and the rise of co-COO David Solomon as successor. The stock initially plummeted 2 percent but recovered throughout the day.
  • July 17: Texas Instruments Incorporated (NASDAQ: TXN) CEO Brian Crutcher resigned after just one month of leadership and a period of grooming for having violated the company code of conduct. Shares fell 1 percent but rebounded quickly.
  • July 12: Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) CEO Wes Bush announced his Jan. 1 resignation and COO Kathy Warden’s succession. Shares were relatively undisturbed.
  • July 11: Dunkin Brands Group Inc (NASDAQ: DNKN) CEO Nigel Travis retired as CEO, relinquished leadership to Dunkin’ Donuts President David Hoffman, and became executive chairman of the board. Shares closed down 1 percent that day but now trade up 1.4 percent.
  • July 11: Papa John’s Int’l, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) founder John Schnatter resigned as chairman following backlash for his use of a racial slur. The move, which came almost eight months after Schnatter relinquished his seat as CEO, catalyzed an 11-percent run in the stock.
  • July 5: TiVo Corp (NASDAQ: TIVO) President and CEO Enrique Rodriguez resigned to become chief technology officer of Liberty Global. Shares were unshaken from a downward trajectory.
  • July 3: Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS) terminated CEO Demos Parneros for violating company policies. Shares fell 1.7 percent that session and now trade down 8.3 percent.
  • June 21: Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) CEO Brian Krzanich resigned after the board discovered his past relationship with an Intel employee — a policy violation. Shares rose marginally before sliding 7 percent over the next week. They’ve since recovered.
  • June 8: Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS) announced that Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter would leave both Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios at the end of the year following reports of sexual harassment. Lasseter had been on a leave of absence since November for the same reason. Shares are up 7.8 percent since the report of his permanent departure.
  • June 6: athenahealth, Inc (NASDAQ: ATHN) CEO and President Jonathan Bush resigned amid sexual misconduct allegations. Shares popped more than 4 percent on the news and have retained their gains.
  • June 4: Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX)’s Howard Schultz announced his June 26 resignation as executive chairman. Former J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE: JCP) CEO Myron Ullman succeeded him as chair. Shares fell 2.4 percent but recovered quickly.
  • June 1: PETROLEO BRASIL/ADR (NYSE: PBR) CEO Pedro Parente resigned amid major oil protests that had brought Brazil’s economy to a halt. Shares fell 14.6 percent to continue a long decline.
  • May 22: JC Penney’s CEO and Chairman Marvin Ellison resigned to become CEO of Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW). Shares weren’t immediately reactive but rose 28 percent over the following weeks. They now trade up just 8 percent.
  • May 18: Campbell Soup Company (NYSE: CPB) President and CEO Denise Morrison retired. Shares fell 12.4 percent but have since more than recovered.
  • May 11: GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME) CEO Michael Mauler resigned for personal reasons after just three months in office. Shares actually rose 4.3 percent that session and now remain up 17.4 percent.
  • May 2: Xerox Corp (NYSE: XRX) announced CEO Jeff Jacobson’s replacement in response to an activist campaign by Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason. Shares plunged 9 percent and continued down to concede a total 22 percent.
  • March 26: Lowe’s CEO and President Robert Niblock announced his retirement. Shares spiked up 6.6 percent.
  • February 7: Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ: WYNN) founder Steve Wynn stepped down as chairman and CEO in the wake of sexual assault allegations. Shares soared 8.6 percent and have risen and fallen since.

On top of all that, Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) has been simultaneously trimming management and suffering an exodus of top engineers.

What The Departures Mean

The loss of a corporate leader can mean different things for different companies.

"It really depends on the CEO,” said TD Ameritrade senior trading specialist Shawn Cruz. “A lot of times there's a shared leadership structure, so when the CEO rotates out there's usually a good one that can come in and take the reins."

When Steve Jobs stepped down from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) in 2011, the stock continued its rise and went on with its product-cycle-dependent gains and losses.

When Twitter Inc (NASDAQ: TWTR) transferred from Dick Costolo back to Jack Dorsey in 2014, the stock rallied for a quarter before a long-term stumble.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) trended down for a year after Bill Gates turned over the keys, and after flatlining for most of Steve Ballmer’s tenure, it rose steadily and steeply under Satya Nadella.

Cruz doesn’t expect any of the recent transitions to be particularly disruptive.

"I don’t this it’s something where the whole business is going to turn around or fall apart based on any of the names we’ve seen leave,” Cruz said.

Related Links:

Report: The 10 Most Overpaid S&P 500 CEOs

Every Executive Who's Disappeared From Snap Since Its IPO


Related Articles (AAPL + ATHN)

View Comments and Join the Discussion!

Posted-In: Education Management General Best of Benzinga

Don't Miss Any Updates!
News Directly in Your Inbox
Subscribe to:
Benzinga Premarket Activity
Get pre-market outlook, mid-day update and after-market roundup emails in your inbox.
Market in 5 Minutes
Everything you need to know about the market - quick & easy.
Fintech Focus
A daily collection of all things fintech, interesting developments and market updates.
Everything you need to know about the latest SPAC news.
Thank You

Thank you for subscribing! If you have any questions feel free to call us at 1-877-440-ZING or email us at