How to Respond to Sudden CEO Departures: Print Preview
The credit union industry has been rocked by unexpected leadership changes recently, including Kyle Markland, who resigned Aug. 30 as president/CEO of the $1.6 billion Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union in St. Paul, Minn., after 16 years at the helm, and Harry Ovitt, who was killed in a car accident Aug. 8 after leading the $303 million NSWC Federal Credit Union in Dahlgren, Va., for 27 years.
In scenarios such as these, emotions may run high as boards dust off long-term succession plans, perhaps realizing in those tension-filled moments they lack a backup strategy to deal with the death of an otherwise healthy CEO or one that abruptly leaves for personal reasons.
The next point of business would be to address employee in person, White said. At a multi-branch credit union spread across a wide area, that may not be possible. In that case, a statement very similar to the press release might include a focus on stability, he explained.
“One of the biggest mistakes I see credit unions make after a loss of a CEO is to get emotional,” White said. “Regardless of love, or angst if the CEO was removed, the immediate focus needs to be on logically maintaining the positive direction of the credit union business, at least outwardly to employees, members and the general public.”