Market Overview

Newell Brands CEO To Retire

Newell Brands CEO To Retire

Rubbermaid parent Newell Brands Inc (NASDAQ: NWL) said Thursday its CEO Michael Polk will retire from the company.

What Happened

Polk will retire from the company at the end of the second quarter, a job he has held since 2011. The executive also served on the board of directors since 2009 and his retirement comes at a time when the company is nearing the completion of its Accelerated Transformation plan. The plan includes lowering the debt load and selling non-core brands and assets.

Why It's Important

The Wall Street Journal said Powell's retirement follows a period of weak sales and earnings reports that fell short of expectations. The announcement of his departure appears to be viewed upon favorably by investors, however, the stock is virtually flat from where it was when Polk started as CEO while the S&P 500 index more than doubled over the same period.

His departure also looks to be unplanned since there is no successor in place. The company is working with a search firm to find a replacement. Wells Fargo analyst Bonnie Herzog told WSJ this "may not seem good" but it's difficult to imagine the business getting "much worse from here."

What's Next

Patrick Campbell, non-executive independent Chairman of the Board, said in the statement there remains "work to do to become a leading consumer goods company." The company is "taking the right steps" to continue executing on a transformation, generate growth and increase shareholder value.

Newell's stock traded up 2 percent Friday morning to $15.76 per share.

Related Links:

Newell Brands Investors Digest Icahn Stake, Bullish Wells Fargo Commentary

Q4 13F Roundup: How Buffett, Einhorn, Ackman And Others Adjusted Their Portfolios

Photo credit: Rubbermaid Products


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