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May 22, 2024

Financially challenged Pitney Bowes appoints new interim CEO amid major cost-cutting plan

Contributed A Pitney Bowes truck.

Shipping-services company Pitney Bowes Inc., based in Stamford, has undergone a leadership shakeup as it pursues up to $100 million in annual cost savings and seeks to pay down high-cost debt.

Interim CEO Jason Dies has stepped down and retired from the company, Pitney Bowes announced Wednesday morning.

The board appointed a new interim CEO, Lance Rosenzweig, who previously led Inc., a software company.

Pitney Bowes is facing financial challenges. The company reported an 8% decline in revenue to $3.3 billion in 2023. Also, its debt load of $1.8 billion in liabilities has been described as “disturbingly high.”

Activist shareholder Hestia Capital Management, a hedge fund, previously nominated Rosenzweig, who has experience in turning around underperforming companies, to replace Pitney Bowes’ longtime CEO Marc Lautenbach, according to the Wall Street Journal.

But when Lautenbach departed in October 2023, the board appointed Dies instead. Since then, the board has been reconstituted.

In addition, Pitney Bowes has hired two consulting firms to help review cost-saving efforts. 

The changes are meant to transform Pitney Bowes into a more streamlined company.

“The board believes that Mr. Rosenzweig is best positioned to accelerate the company’s transformation and drive enhanced value for shareholders as interim CEO,” Wednesday’s announcement states.

Also, the board said its value enhancement committee will focus on several new initiatives, including a “cost rationalization review” and a strategic review of its global ecommerce business.

Pitney Bowes is working to reduce its cash needs by approximately $200 million by improving its liquidity forecasting and management at all levels, according to the announcement. Freeing up cash should improve its return on equity, the company said.

It wasn’t immediately clear if the cost-cutting efforts will involve layoffs. The company has shrunk its workforce in recent years. 

As of Dec. 31, 2023, Pitney Bowes said it had 10,500 employees, with 81% located in the U.S. A year earlier, as of Dec. 31, 2022, it reported 11,000 employees, according to its annual report. It had 11,500 employees in December 2021.

The company’s headquarters is in Stamford, at 3001 Summer St. It also has a network of approximately 45 operating centers throughout the U.S. 

“We’re going to move with greater urgency in the coming quarters to transform Pitney Bowes into a much more efficient enterprise focused on its profitable, cash-generating segments,” said Jill Sutton, chair of the board. 

The recently reconstituted board will retain a new search firm to select its next permanent CEO. The board’s previous effort to find a permanent CEO was unsuccessful.

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