- FleetCor Technologies said Charles Freund, its CFO since September 2020 and a longtime company veteran, is resigning to become CFO of an unidentified private-equity backed software company on Oct. 3, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Monday.
- The Atlanta-based global business payments company announced its board approved the appointment of Alissa Vickery, chief accounting officer, as interim CFO, according to a release.
- The company said it initiated a formal search for a new CFO and expects third-quarter results to be “at least in line” with the company outlook given on Aug. 3.
Turnovers in the CFO seat are coming at an accelerated pace that is likely to continue or even rise as finance chiefs face an increasingly potent mix of pressures, said Josh Crist, executive search expert and co-managing partner at Crist|Kolder Associates. “We’re going to see many more CFOs walk out the door,” he said.
Pandemic-related challenges have already led some CFOs to take early retirements and soaring inflation, supply chain issues and now looming recession are piling even more pressures on financial executives, he said. Lately a surge of companies are managing their transitions by tapping interim CFOs to help navigate murky waters, CFO Dive reported.
FleetCor and other companies such as Bed Bath & Beyond and PayPal have elevated internal executives to the temporary CFO position. Company veterans can bring institutional memory, experience and continuity. Other companies, like dental supplies maker Dentsply Sirona, have gone outside their firms for temporary finance leadership. An external interim can act as a change agent to address outstanding problems and give the permanent finance chief a “soft landing,” Shawn Cole, president of executive search firm Cowen Partners, told CFO Dive.
Vickery joined the company in 2011, FleetCor said. Early in her career, she worked briefly at Arthur Andersen and then spent over eight years at Deloitte, according to her LinkedIn account. Since joining the company she has held the title of senior vice president of accounting and controls, with oversight of external reporting, technical accounting and internal audit and has served as the company’s chief accounting officer since September 2020, according to the company release.
Freund, who has been with the company almost 22 years, helped drive FleetCor’s acquisition strategy, managed its initial public offering in 2012, and stepped up to become CFO during the pandemic. The company said Freund’s resignation was not the result of any dispute or any matters relating to the company’s operations, policies or accounting practices.
In that statement, FleetCor CEO Ron Clarke said that Freund over the past two years was a “terrific partner,” and Freund expressed support for his successor. “I am confident that Alissa will assume the role of interim CFO with ease as the company completes its search for a new CFO,” Freund said in the statement.
Last month, the company reported its second quarter net income rose 34% to $262.2 million on revenues that increased 29% to $861.3 million, compared to the year-earlier quarter, respectively.
The company’s shares fell 1.11% to $178.48 in morning trading Tuesday. In a Sept. 26 report from Baird Equity Research, the firm said it views the company’s shares as “relatively inexpensive,” with many “highly successful long-term processors trading at discounts to typical valuations.”