“Serving as the CEO of Shyft has been the highlight of my professional career,” Adams said in the release. “Today, Shyft is well positioned in the attractive last mile delivery and infrastructure end-markets with a growing roster of innovative brands, including a cutting-edge EV platform.”
Adams won’t be leaving the company empty handed.
The CEO, who had a compensation totaling $3.4 million in 2022, has a beefy severance package worked into his contract, according to a company proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The executive is set to receive approximately $4.2 million in severance benefits, including $1.3 million in annual incentive cash, $1.3 million in severance and $1.6 million in vesting of equity awards.
Adams, an automotive industry veteran, started in 2015 at Shyft when the company was entrenched in the emergency vehicle business and struggling financially. Under his leadership, the company pivoted to manufacturing last-mile delivery vehicles, a segment that has boomed in tandem with e-commerce.
The company’s stock (NASDAQ: SHYF) has grown from about $5 per share in 2014 to more than $25 per share as of Monday, though it was down about 3% towards the end of the trading day. In Adams’ nine-year tenure, sales at the company nearly doubled to $1 billion in 2022.
Shift’s next major transition has been a push toward electrification. Under its Blue Arc umbrella, the company has sought to become a major player in supplying electric delivery vans to its customers, which include Amazon, UPS and FedEx. However, the space has become crowded with startups looking to crack into EVs and major automakers aiming to bolster their commercial vehicle business.
Shyft announced in February a $16 million expansion at its plant in Charlotte to boost EV production. It also signed a $200 million deal with Our Next Energy to purchase lithium iron phosphate battery packs from the Michigan-based supplier.
“Most recently, we have advanced our differentiated commercial EV, Blue Arc, which is expected to be a significant growth driver for the company, and we are on track to start production in the second half of the year,” Sharman said.
The search for Adams’ replacement is being conducted by New York City-based RSR Partners, Wright said.
“The search process is a top priority for the Board,” she said in an email. “They will act with urgency while also taking the time they need to find the right person for the job. While the search is underway, the company remains in great hands with Daryl as CEO.”