A human resources expert said it’s possible that the activist investor with a big stake in Cabela’s played a role in this week’s shuffle in the company’s executive suite.
Earlier this week, Cabela’s split the roles of president and chief executive. Scott K. Williams was appointed president and will report to Chief Executive Tommy Millner, who previously held both roles.
Cabela’s said in a statement that the change was part of its “Vision 2020” plan, announced in October just before Elliott Management, the activist hedge fund, declared its holdings. The plan would make in-store changes and scale back annual store growth.
John Challenger, president of employment consulting firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas in Chicago, said that without being in the board room, it’s hard to say what the move means.
Still, he said, “you can see the title change on the surface — that suggests there’s more ferment underneath,” Challenger said.
Cabela’s didn’t comment for this story.
“It’s possible it’s a move, a step in the direction, of moving the current CEO out, but you just don’t know what goes on inside that board room,” Challenger said.
Sometimes the split is made so that a CEO can focus on big-picture, visionary changes. The president then can focus on day-to-day operations.
“Sometimes you see that kind of a split in roles because they want to have two kind of different sorts of focuses,” Challenger said.
It also can be a signal that the person who is appointed president may be next in line to lead the company, he said.
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