Get the app
Get the app

Join millions of investors on Stash

Investing, simplified

Start today with as little as $5
Get the app
Money News

What Caused eBay, Juul and WeWork CEOs to Leave?

October 12, 2019
man walking down steps with briefcase

3 min read

Update (As of November 11, 2019):  In October, Under Armour chief executive officer and founder Kevin Plank announced he would leave the company. Also in October, Nike CEO Mark Parker announced he would step down from his executive role at the footwear company. In November, McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook exited the company.

Within days of each other last week, the chief executive officers of eBay, Juul, and WeWork all stepped down from leading their respective companies.

It’s more than a coincidence.

Their departures are actually part of a trend—a record 159 CEOs reportedly left their executive posts in August, nearly 30% higher than in July. Through August, more than 1,000 CEOs stepped down, a level not seen since the financial crisis of 2008, according to reports.

What’s going on?

Even though chief executives may launch their companies and lead them, they can be forced out for a number of reasons, including:

eBay, Juul, and WeWork

WeWork, the office space leasing company, forced its chief executive and founder Adam Neumann to resign, and then shut down its scheduled IPO. Personal behavior was just one issue forcing Neumann to step down, according to reports. Neumann had overhyped the company, it turns out. Its pre-IPO valuation of $47 billion was found to be four times higher than its actual value, according to reports. As a result, the new co-CEOs of the company have withdrawn the IPO until sometime next year.

eBay CEO Devin Wenig was reportedly forced out by investors who want the company to rethink its business strategy, sell off some units, and achieve faster growth and a higher stock price.

Juul CEO Kevin Burns was forced out over the mounting number of vaping deaths and illnesses that have caused numerous companies and states to stop selling e-cigarettes and other vaping products

What’s a CEO?

Companies have many executives in charge of different tasks at a company. They are sometimes referred to as the C-suite since their titles start with the word “chief.” Here are some of the top executive roles and their functions:

The chief executive officer (CEO), is the top executive role. He or she is responsible for leading the company and its growth. Some companies may also have a president, who shares some of the strategic activities of the CEO, but who also reports to the CEO. Sometimes a CEO can have both titles, president and chief executive officer.

Chief financial officer (CFO) is in charge of the company’s financial activity.

Chief operations officer (COO) is in charge of the company’s day to day operations.

Chief marketing officer (CMO) is in charge of the company’s strategic marketing plan.

Who reports to whom?

While all of the other officers generally report to the CEO, all of the executives, including the CEO, report to the board of directors.

In a public company, the board is chosen by shareholders. The board has the ultimate authority over a company’s direction, and its executives.

When a CEO leaves, or the board asks a CEO to leave, a replacement person is usually named immediately. It’s part of what’s known as a succession plan, which is a blueprint that ensures the continuity of a business and its operations.

By Jeremy Quittner
Jeremy Quittner is the senior writer for Stash.

Investment Profile

Bonds Worldwide

An International Bond ETF on Stash

Learn more
Explore more articlesChoose a topic to learn more about
Retirement market news budgeting politics Careers

This material has been distributed for informational and educational purposes only, represents an assessment of the market environment as of the date of publication, is subject to change without notice, and is not intended as investment, legal, accounting, or tax advice or opinion. Stash assumes no obligation to provide notifications of changes in any factors that could affect the information provided. This information should not be relied upon by the reader as research or investment advice regarding any issuer or security in particular. The strategies discussed are strictly for illustrative and educational purposes and should not be construed as a recommendation to purchase or sell, or an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any security. There is no guarantee that any strategies discussed will be effective.

Furthermore, the information presented does not take into consideration commissions, tax implications, or other transactional costs, which may significantly affect the economic consequences of a given strategy or investment decision. This information is not intended as a recommendation to invest in any particular asset class or strategy or as a promise of future performance. There is no guarantee that any investment strategy will work under all market conditions or is suitable for all investors. Each investor should evaluate their ability to invest long term, especially during periods of downturn in the market. Investors should not substitute these materials for professional services, and should seek advice from an independent advisor before acting on any information presented. Before investing, please carefully consider your willingness to take on risk and your financial ability to afford investment losses when deciding how much individual security exposure to have in your investment portfolio.

Past performance does not guarantee future results. There is a potential for loss as well as gain in investing. Stash does not represent in any manner that the circumstances described herein will result in any particular outcome. While the data and analysis Stash uses from third party sources is believed to be reliable, Stash does not guarantee the accuracy of such information. Nothing in this article should be considered as a solicitation or offer, or recommendation, to buy or sell any particular security or investment product or to engage in any investment strategy. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission. Stash does not provide personalized financial planning to investors, such as estate, tax, or retirement planning. Investment advisory services are only provided to investors who become Stash Clients pursuant to a written Advisory Agreement. For more information please visit