Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) were down more than 4% on heavy volume in midafternoon trading today following news that Chief Financial Officer Ted Hull is leaving the company effective at the end of the day today.
So what: 3D Systems' press release states that Hull is leaving the company "in order to meet company needs and to pursue his personal interests." Based on that wording, it appears that Hull has been let go. The announcement included the news that David Styka, 53, the company's current chief accounting officer, has been named executive VP and CFO.
Hull came aboard the leading 3D printing company last November when he was hired to replace longtime CFO Damon Gregoire, who reportedly resigned due to family health issues. At that time, Gregoire transitioned to a consultant position. Prior to joining 3D Systems, Hull's career "span[ned] more than three decades of progressing financial leadership roles in high-tech companies and sector leaders including Cisco, Maxtor, and IBM," according to the company's press release last November.
Styka has been employed with 3D Systems since January 2015 after serving as VP-Finance and Treasurer at Family Dollar since April 2014. Previously he served in a couple of financial leadership roles at the leading dollar store retailer. He also has public accounting experience.
3D Systems CEO Avi Reichental's statement declared: "We are very fortunate to have a strong and capable financial executive of the caliber of Dave Styka ready to assume the role of Chief Financial Officer. Since his arrival at 3D Systems, Dave has gained a deep understanding of our business and quickly has become a key advisor to me and the rest of our senior leadership team. Dave brings substantial finance and accounting leadership experience to the role and we are confident taking the next leg of our growth journey with him as our CFO."
Now what: CFOs leave and are let go for a variety of reasons, including ones related to job performance, differing opinions and relationships with CEOs and board of directors, and personal and other reasons. We have no way of knowing exactly why Hull and 3D Systems are going their separate ways. While it might turn out to be a positive for the company over the long term, it's nonetheless somewhat concerning that there have been two changes in the critical top financial spot within six months. This is especially true since this period coincides with the company's subpar performance, culminating in a recent first-quarter big miss on both revenue and earnings. So, it might be prudent for investors to be extra-cautious.