Thankfully, Cohen Stepping Down As CEO of Finish Line (FINL, GCO)

Finish_line_logoAnother one of 24/7 Wall St. CEO’s that need to go has come to fruition.  This morning Finish Line (NASDAQ: FINL) announced a management succession plan to replace co-founder Alan H. Cohen.  Unfortunately for shareholders, this is not a full replacement and he will still be involved in the company.  Glenn S. Lyon has been named successor to Cohen as CEO with effective December 1.  Cohen is going to remain Chairman of the Board of Directors.

In addition, there is another change in the hierarchy.  Lyon iscurrently President of Finish Line.  He was replaced by Steven J. Schneider, the company’s chief operating officer.  If youlook at our reasons cited for calling for this CEO to go last December, you willunderstand why Cohen needed to go.

The only reason we haven’t pounded the table was thatthis stock actually made its way back up from the depths of hell.  Itwas actually one of the best NASDAQ performers this year until the lastsell-off.  But the failed Genesco (NYSE: GCO) merger was one whichcould have killed Finish Line.  Cohen took an unreasonable gamble thatluckily didn’t leave shareholders holding a goose egg.  His dual classof stocks also gives him ultimate control over the common stock withouthaving to own so much stock.  Shareholders will do much better with himout of the daily grind.

This actually marks the 7th of our 10 CEO’s To Go For 2008.  Technically, that marks the 7th of 9, as Symantec’s John Thompson was more of a possibility rather than a prediction (and he is well liked).

Jon C. Ogg
October 3, 2008