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goeasy Ltd. announces Senior Leadership Succession to sustain its strong growth and superior performance
  • David Ingram to transition to Executive Chair, effective 2019
  • Jason Mullins to assume role of President and COO immediately, then CEO effective 2019

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario, April 02, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- goeasy Ltd. (TSX:GSY), (“goeasy” or the “Company”), today announced that its Board of Directors has unanimously approved the recommendation of President and CEO David Ingram to implement a senior leadership succession plan. Jason Mullins, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, will succeed Mr. Ingram as President and CEO in January 2019.  At that time, after having served as the Company’s President and CEO for 18 years, Mr. Ingram will move into the role of Executive Chairman. Effective immediately, Mr. Mullins will begin the leadership transition by assuming the role of President and Chief Operating Officer for the balance of 2018.

“Throughout goeasy’s rapid growth and expansion, we have been extremely methodical about our succession plan in order to ensure that we are well positioned with the right people, culture, and organizational structure to support the next phase of our growth,” said Mr. Ingram.  “We also believe that with our successful completion at the end of 2017 of a US $325 million high yield debt offering and our new $110 million revolver, backed by a syndicate of Canadian and international banks, we now have the balance sheet that we need to fund our growth plans and accelerate our ambition to be the market leader in our sector. The senior leadership evolution announced today will allow the Company, under Jason’s leadership, to continue its focus on executing organic growth.   In my new role as Executive Chairman, I will lead the Company’s corporate development, investor relations, and capital market initiatives, while also overseeing the organization’s long-term strategy.”

Mr. Mullins joined goeasy in August 2010 as Vice President of Business Development and has rapidly ascended into progressively senior roles, including his appointment to Senior Vice-President of Operations in 2011 and Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer in 2015.  He has led the Company’s transition from being Canada’s leading consumer leasing business, through easyhome, to becoming a Canadian leader in the alternative financial services market, through easyfinancial. Mr. Mullins’ contributions also include leading the development of the Company’s first centralized credit-decision platform, the Company’s digital strategy and first generation online transactional platforms, the Company’s expansion into retail consumer financing and the rapid growth of the Company’s national retail branch network and shared services centre. Further, he has accelerated the Company’s mission of helping customers graduate back to prime credit, through a focus on the customer experience and product expansion.  Prior to joining goeasy, Mr. Mullins held management roles at Mogo Financial, where he served as a Vice President of Sales and Operations, Allied International Credit and CIBC.  Since joining the Company, Mr. Mullins completed his MBA from the Ivey School of Business, has been actively involved in a CEO peer forum and has had an active presence in front of goeasy’s external stakeholders. 

Mr. Ingram said, “The Board and I are both excited about Jason Mullins’ immediate promotion to his new role as President and have absolute confidence in his ability to transition to the CEO role in 2019. His potential was identified many years ago, and his development has been deliberate, with increasing levels of responsibility pursuant to a detailed development plan put in place with the board of directors’ endorsement two years ago. Jason’s orientation around people leadership and innovation has already helped to shape our organization and influenced our longstanding record of growth in revenue and profit over consecutive periods.”  

“I am extremely honoured to be appointed as President and transition to CEO. David’s contributions to the business have been immeasurable, and I speak for everyone at goeasy that we have been fortunate to share in his leadership and vision to build such a great company,” said Mr. Mullins. “I look forward to our continued relationship as we work together closely, and I am grateful to the Board for its confidence in me taking on this new role.”

Don Johnson, the Company’s Chairman of 18 years, will move into the role of Chairman Emeritus and will remain a Director on the Board.  He said, on behalf of the Board of Directors, “This planned succession will provide continuity for goeasy as we execute on our strategic priorities and explore new opportunities. It was David’s visionary leadership that created the business model for easyfinancial, which was built to help the 7 million non-prime consumers fulfil their needs for credit. To date, easyfinancial has generated over $2 billion in loan originations and has a loan book that exceeds $500 million. When these accomplishments are combined with the turnaround he executed with the leasing business, he has taken the Company from a market capitalization of $8 million to over $500 million, resulting in a total shareholder return exceeding 4000 percent. However, his true success has been in future-proofing the organization by building a strong and trusted management team, securing the right capital structure, and developing future leadership.” Mr. Johnson concluded, “The Board welcomes Jason’s appointment and congratulates him on his success during the last 8 years, as he led the expansion at easyfinancial, which increased the Company’s revenue from $188 million in 2011 to $405 million in 2017. His knowledge of store operations, his leadership in leveraging technology, and his passion for the customer experience will complement the ambitious plans for our future at goeasy”.

Mr. Ingram expressed his gratitude for the service that Mr. Johnson has provided at goeasy. “Don Johnson is a respected banker, whose stewardship while leading our board of directors has been remarkable. From the beginning of our relationship, he has personally, financially, and professionally supported all the key initiatives of our organization. His integrity in resolving meaningful issues, his charitable leadership and his enthusiasm have provided a huge source of motivation and respect during my time as CEO. I remain truly inspired and enthused by his example”.

The Company also announced that Steve Goertz, Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer, has elected to leave the Company, to pursue other opportunities, but will continue to provide transition assistance for up to the next six months, while the Company seeks a replacement. Mr. Goertz joined as CFO in 2009 and has been instrumental in overseeing all of goeasy’s financial operations, including leading the maturation of the Company’s capital structure that culminated in the completion, at the end of 2017, of a US $325 million high yield debt offering and a new $110 million revolver, backed by a syndicate of Canadian and international banks.  In addition to his oversight of the Company’s finance functions, Mr. Goertz’s contributions also include leading the introduction and development of risk management within goeasy, overseeing the transformation of the technology group and platforms and advancing the Company’s corporate governance, all while managing the Risk, Audit, Legal and IT functions.

“I wish to thank Steve for his significant contribution to the Company over the last 9 years. During that time, he provided great direction on our Credit-Risk modelling and lead the optimization of our capital structure, and was an intelligent voice of reason to our strategic planning. On a personal note, I found his integrity for decisioning, his aptitude in quickly synthesizing complex situations, his work ethic and his ability to execute to be commendable. On behalf of the Board of Directors and the Executive team, we wish Steve the very best on his future endeavors,” said Mr. Ingram.  

About goeasy

goeasy Ltd. is a leading full-service provider of goods and alternative financial services that provides everyday Canadians with a chance for a better tomorrow, today.  goeasy Ltd. serves its customers through two key operating divisions, easyfinancial and easyhome. easyfinancial is a non-prime consumer lender that bridges the gap between traditional financial institutions and costly payday lenders.  It is supported by a strong central credit adjudication process and industry leading risk analytics. easyfinancial also operates an indirect lending channel, offering loan products to consumers at the point-of-sale of third party merchants. easyhome is Canada's largest lease-to-own company, offering brand-name household furniture, appliances and electronics to consumers under weekly or monthly leasing agreements through both corporate and franchise stores. Both operating divisions of goeasy Ltd. offer the highest level of customer service and enable customers to transact through a national store and branch network and through its online and mobile eCommerce enabled platforms.

goeasy Ltd.’s. common shares are listed for trading on the TSX under the trading symbol “GSY” and goeasy’s convertible debentures are traded on the TSX under the trading symbol “GSY-DB”.   goeasy is rated BB- with a stable trend from S&P and Ba3 with a stable trend from Moody’s.  For more information, visit www.goeasy.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release includes forward-looking statements about goeasy, including, but not limited to its business operations, strategy, expected financial performance and condition, the implementation of its senior leadership succession plan, strategic initiatives, anticipated capital requirements, liquidity of the Company, plans and references to future operations and results.  In certain cases, forward-looking statements are statements that are predictive in nature, depend upon or refer to future events or conditions, and/or can be identified by the use of words such as ‘expects’, ‘anticipates’, ‘intends’, ‘plans’, ‘believes’, ‘budgeted’, ‘estimates’, ‘forecasts’, ‘targets’ or negative versions thereof and similar expressions, and/or state that certain actions, events or results ‘may’, ‘could’, ‘would’, ‘might’ or ‘will’ be taken, occur or be achieved.

Forward-looking statements are based on certain factors and assumptions, including expected growth, results of operations and business prospects and are inherently subject to, among other things, risks, uncertainties and assumptions about the Company’s operations, economic factors and the industry generally, as well as those factors referred to in the Company’s most recent Annual Information Form and Management Discussion and Analysis, as available on www.sedar.com, in the section entitled “Risk Factors”.  There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those expressed or implied by forward-looking statements made by the Company, due to, but not limited to, important factors such as the Company’s ability to implement the senior leadership succession plan, enter into new lease and/or financing agreements, collect on existing lease and/or financing agreements, open new locations on favourable terms, purchase products which appeal to customers at a competitive rate, respond to changes in legislation, react to uncertainties related to regulatory action, raise capital under favourable terms, manage the impact of litigation (including shareholder litigation), control costs at all levels of the organization and maintain and enhance the system of internal controls. The Company cautions that the foregoing list is not exhaustive.

The reader is cautioned to consider these and other factors carefully and not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which may not be appropriate for other purposes. The Company is under no obligation (and expressly disclaims any such obligation) to update or alter the forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, unless required by law.

For further information contact:

David Ingram
President and Chief Executive Officer
(905) 272-2788

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