Manpower announced some meaningful changes to its executive leadership after the markets closed Tuesday, February 11, although the changes were not that surprising. The biggest change is that Jonas Prising will replace Jeffrey Joerres as chief executive officer effective May 2014. Mr. Joerres has served as the CEO since 1999 (almost 15 years), and will become the company’s executive chairman on that date. He will remain actively involved in the business, with a focus on client relationships.
Mr. Prising will become only the fourth CEO in the company’s history, so there have not been a significant number of leadership changes. However, we believe that this plan has been in place for some time, so we do not view the news as particularly surprising. Mr. Prising has been with the company since 1999 and has steadily moved up in the company, most recently serving as the co-president of Manpower (along with Darryl Green), a position he was promoted to in 2012.
We believe that this position served as a segue for Mr. Prising to move into the CEO role. Mr. Prising has also worked for a variety of Manpower’s various business units in different geographies. He has served as a managing director in Italy; director of Manpower global accounts in Europe, Middle East, and Africa; and the president of the Americas region. His previous role as co-president of Manpower gave him overall responsibility for the Right Management business and ManpowerGroup Solutions business. We therefore believe that Mr. Prising’s previous experiences within the company will serve him well as CEO. Manpower’s recent results have been very solid (the company is getting closer to its long-term target of a 4% operating margin), which supports our view that this announcement mostly reflects action on a plan that has been in place for some time.
In addition to the CEO change, Manpower announced that Darryl Green will become the company’s first chief operating officer and Ram Chandrashekar will become executive vice president, both effective May 2014. Mr. Green will continue to serve as the president of Manpower, so this additional title just expands his role some within the company. The company has been focusing more on operational performance over the last year in an effort to drive the company’s operating margin to 4%.
The company made significant progress toward that goal in 2013 (operating margin of 3.0%, up from 2.3% in 2012). Therefore, this additional title for Mr. Green highlights, in our view, the company’s continued commitment to that goal moving forward. Mr. Chandrashekar’s new role gives him responsibility of the Asia-Pacific Middle East market for Manpower. He will also continue in his role as senior vice president for operational excellence and IT.
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