New York—In what industry observers described as a surprising development, Andrew L. Goodenough has resigned as CEO of Summit Business Media, which serves the insurance and financial services markets, to “pursue other interests.” Thomas Flynn, Summit Business Media's CFO-COO, will serve as interim CEO while the company searches for a new chief executive.
“It's very much a surprise to me as it is to everyone else,” said Michael Parker, managing director at AdMedia Partners.
“It's no one's fault,” said Roland DeSilva, managing partner of DeSilva & Phillips. “He led them through a difficult time and the restructuring, but it's just the way things happen in situations like this.”
Goodenough guided the company through Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this year, which reduced the company's debt by $140 million. Additionally, Goodenough presided over the company's sale of Highline Data in September, which further strengthened Summit Business Media's balance sheet.
Goodenough acquired both Highline Data and National Underwriter Co. in 2003 while at Spire Capital Partners. Those businesses were acquired by Summit Business Media and its private equity backer, Wind Point Partners, in 2006, and Goodenough came along.
After exiting Chapter 11, Summit Business Media is now owned by its lenders, which include EOS Partners and GE Capital.
Industry observers said it often is the case that new ownership seeks new leadership. Charles G. McCurdy, named to Summit Business Media's board in May, said in an interview: “The company is in good shape. The Highline deal was a very positive move for the company. Leverage [on current debt] is at attractive levels, and the business is performing well.”
In an interview, Goodenough said: “I think the business is in better shape than it's been in the past three and half years. I'm leaving at the top, when the business is doing really well.”
Goodenough said he planned to take some time off before mulling any opportunities.