More than half of the respondents to this week’s RBJ Daily Report Snap Poll say the outlook for Paychex Inc. after the departure of Jonathan Judge as president and CEO is positive.
The Penfield-based payroll and human resources services company announced the resignation of Judge on Monday. Judge, who joined Paychex in 2004 and succeeded founder and Chairman Thomas Golisano as chief executive, will leave effective July 31.
In response to the news, 52 percent say the firm’s outlook is positive, while 5 percent say it is negative. Forty-four percent say Judge’s departure will have a neutral impact on the firm.
Paychex’s board of directors said it immediately began the search for Judge’s successor, with an executive committee formed to lead the company in the interim.
Golisano said Paychex will look both inside and outside the company. He prefers a candidate who can manage a large organization and interface with Wall Street and investors, adding that if the candidate comes from outside the company, he prefers someone with experience as a CEO.
On June 23, Paychex reported fourth-quarter and full-year results. For fiscal 2010, the firm’s total revenue fell 4 percent to $2 billion. Net income was $477 million, down 11 percent from the previous year.
Roughly 315 readers participated in this week’s poll, which was conducted July 12 and 13.
In your view, what is the outlook for Paychex after CEO Jonathan Judge departs?
If Paychex can get a good CEO with the kind of CEO track that Tom Golisano wants, Paychex should be in for a great future. Paychex offers the most services for all aspects of payroll and retirement. I use Paychex, and I have been very happy with their service and their services. I regularly recommend Paychex to everyone I know starting out in a business. Maybe Judge’s leaving will cause Tom Golisano to have to spend more time in New York State and he’ll become a resident again. So I guess Rochester goes from “Here comes da Judge” to “There goes da Judge.”
—Clifford Jacobson, WebHomeUSA.com
I assume he was very capable. However, the company is bigger than one man and has plenty of employee assets to carry on, no matter who is in charge.
—Bill Lanigan, Chamberlin Rubber
Paychex can run without a CEO. Apparently, Mr. Golisano has made the correct decision to let the people run their jobs. The services of Paychex are clearly defined. In this case, supervision, interference from “up high” and micromanagement are minimized. The employees can focus on providing their customers with “good goods” (George Eastman) for their needs and good customer services. Find a new CEO who does not disappear in his “mahogany playpen” but who steps out to represent the company before the public. Mr. Judge is a typical “stealth leader.” As our recent past shows, bad CEOs are only good in destroying their companies and our national economy. Better no CEO in a rush.
—Ingo Leubner, Crystallization Consulting
Business as usual. I find it hard to believe that he was ever really in charge. As long as Tom G. is still around, he will always be in charge.
—Kenny Harris, EPIC Advisors
Mr. Judge’s departure may have been a bit abrupt, but there has been nothing to suggest there was an underlying negative reason. He was there for six years and brought revenue from $1.4 billion to $2 billion. And results during the recession have been above the average for most major companies. What’s not to like? It’s not as if he’s another Antonio Perez (failure) or Arunas Chesonis (playing the system). I think that Paychex is positioned to weather the balance of the recession and prosper in the future. Maybe not in the double digits as in the past, but considering the number of new competitors in their market, I think they’ve done reasonably well. Best wishes, Mr. Judge!
Paychex will continue to be a great company because Tom Golisano put the structure in place for it to function well as long as a great leader is running it. I have confidence they will find their next great leader.
—David Mammano, NextStepU.com
(c) 2010 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail email@example.com.