Shares of this ASX 200 stock halted as new CEO decides not to join

A new CEO has decided not to drive to this business.

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Man with his hand out, symbolising a trading halt.

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The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) stock Bapcor Ltd (ASX: BAP) won't see the expected CEO take over after he decided against joining, putting Bapcor shares into a trading halt.

Paul Dumbrell had been picked to become the company's CEO and managing director on 1 May 2024.

CEO decides not to join the ASX 200 stock

Dumbrell was confirmed for the role on 1 February 2024, but he has since made a "personal decision" not to join the company.

Bapcor was optimistic about Dumbrell's appointment. He had over 15 years of experience leading automotive and retail businesses. Most recently, he was the CEO of Total Tools for five years. Sales of Total Tools had doubled during that time.

At the time of the appointment announcement, Dumbrell said:

After leaving Total Tools I had planned to take an extended break, but the opportunity to work alongside the Bapcor team is an exciting opportunity and I am very much looking forward to working with the Leadership Team and Board to drive shareholder value. I have a long history with Bapcor, and I look forward to seeing the full potential of the broader group realised into the future alongside the exceptional teams within the business.

Who will be the new CEO?

In the last couple of months, Bapcor non-executive director Mark Bernhard has performed the role of interim CEO and managing director. Bernhard joined the board in March 2022 and was the chief financial officer and vice president of Shanghai General Motors from 2011 to 2015. He became the chair and managing director of General Motors Holden Australia until 2018. In total, he has more than 30 years of global experience as an executive in the automotive sector.

To "ensure stability and consistency", Bernhard will continue as the interim CEO and managing director of the ASX 200 stock while the board begins a new executive search.

The Bapcor chair Margie Haseltine said:

This is a disappointing situation, however we are pleased that Mark will remain in the role, so we can continue to leverage his expertise and experience.

Recent trading performance

As we can see on the chart below, before the trading halt the Bapcor share price had risen by 7% in 2024 to date.

Recent trading has been challenged by economic conditions in Australia and New Zealand. The FY24 first-half revenue rose by 1.7% to $1 billion, but underlying net profit after tax (NPAT) dropped by 12.6% to 16 cents per share.

In the first six weeks of the second half of FY24, the ASX 200 stock's overall revenue was up around 4% year over year. Underlying net profit is expected to be boosted by between $7 million to $10 million of 'better than before' benefits, as well as approximately $2 million of annualised run-rate benefits from the second quarter improvement plans.

Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Bapcor. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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