Foss retires as CEO at Aramark

Aramark CEO Eric J. Foss stepped down Monday, the company announced. (PR Newswire)

Aramark CEO Eric J. Foss stepped down Monday, the company announced. (PR Newswire)

This article originally appeared on Philadelphia Business Journal.

Aramark chief executive Eric J. Foss stepped down Monday, on the heels of a large stock purchase by activist investor Mantle Ridge last week. Foss’ retirement is effective immediately, the company said.

Mantle Ridge founder and CEO Paul Hilal is notorious for changing up boards and C-suites of companies he invests in. Hilal recently invested in and installed a new CEO at CSX Corp., according to his website. Mantle Ridge now has a 20% stake in Philadelphia-based Aramark after purchasing an additional 9.8% of shares. Mantle Ridge declined to comment.

A search is underway for a new CEO, according to a press release from Aramark. In the meantime, Aramark (NYSE: ARMK) established an Office of the Chairman, which will oversee the company’s daily operations and work with the board until a new CEO is hired, the company said.

The Office of the Chairman will consist of  Lead Independent Director Stephen Sadove, CFO Stephen Bramlage; Lynn McKee, executive vice president of human resources; and Lauren Harrington, senior vice president and general counsel.

Foss, 61, was named Aramark CEO and president of Aramark in 2012. During his tenure, he led the company through an initial public offering in 2013 and headquarters relocation to 2400 Market St. in Philadelphia in 2016. Since the IPO, Aramark has had total shareholder returns of 111%, nearly $2 billion in revenue growth and growth in adjusted operating income and adjusted earnings per share, according to the press release.

“We thank Eric for his leadership and strategic contributions that position Aramark for future success. In addition to solid financial performance, Eric built a strong management team and advanced the Company’s efforts in diversity & inclusion, health & wellness and frontline education,” Sadove said in the release.

Foss’ exit will be treated as a “termination without ‘cause,’” and he signed a noncompete agreement, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Foss will receive $3.4 million, the equivalent of two years’ salary, plus two times his annual bonus, per the filing. His bonus will be dependent upon the performance of financial objectives, and will be paid out over the two years from his separation from Aramark. He will stay with Aramark in an advisory role until Oct. 2. He will also be given company life and health insurance, as well as car allowance over the next two years.

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