As previously noted here with Home Depot, the departure of a CEO may cause the stock price to rise. This is a funny concept, given that many CEO's are paid tens (or hundreds) of millions to do their job.
The CEO of British Petroleum (BP) named John Browne recently announced his departure and the stock price rose 3%. BP has recently had a series of mishaps, from a Texas refinery explosion, a pipeline leak, and investigations into market manipulations.
This fall is particularly satisfying because Browne was pretty much a hypocrite. BP is just a giant energy (oil and natural gas) company that battles Shell, ExxonMobil and the various national oil companies in the marketplace. There is nothing wrong with this, the world needs energy, and we need companies to deliver the energy. However, BP had a public relations campaign calling themselves "Beyond Petroleum" touting their (relative to other initiatives) miniscule solar and wind initiatives. On the other hand, Lee Raymond, the famously irascible CEO (since retired) of ExxonMobil, never bowed down and pretended to be anything other than a giant energy company CEO who pocketed hundreds of millions and left a booming stock price as his legacy to shareholders.
Unfortunately, we won't get straight shooters like Lee Raymond anymore, we'll get PR spinners like John Browne in the future. The problem with the PR guys is that they start to believe their own nonsense and this is a bad trend that can impact decisions and ultimately stock performance. Stick to the facts, it is what it is. When you run a giant oil and energy company, get a thick skin, and get down to business. Bye bye John Browne...