It’s never a great look when your CEO suddenly leaves a few weeks after a monster acquisition.
You know what shareholders are going to ask: is there a problem with the deal? Who will integrate it now? How fast can I sell my stocks and sell them?
Software group Aveva knew this all too well when Craig Hayman resigned weeks after buying OSIsoft for $ 5 billion, nearly half of the company’s total value.
Aveva is not a top 50 classic British plc. Resulting from a merger three years ago with part of Schneider Electric, it is now 60% owned by the French giant.
And they came up with an extremely unconventional solution to the Hayman problem.
Rather than installing an interim CEO and launching a global search for a permanent replacement, they simply dispatched a Schneider honcho to do the job.
Big mistake. The impression that Aveva’s minority shareholders now have is that they are no longer calling for blows. The French are doing it.
Even though the new guy can do the job, how do they know he’s the best fit if there hasn’t been global research?
Schneider chief Jean-Pascal Tricoire tried to silence the complaints, saying he was committed to Aveva’s independence.
It would be the same Mr. Tricoire who acts as both judge and jury on his decisions, combining the roles of president and CEO.
We don’t do that here. Just as we don’t tend to have confusing nomination processes dictated by cross-ownership of other industrial companies.
We would prefer that it stay that way.