Clarivate has announced that Jerre Stead will retire as its Chief Executive Officer and that Jonathan Gear will succeed him in this top leadership role. Gear has joined the Clarivate board of directors effective July 11, 2022; the transition to the CEO role takes place on September 1, 2022. Stead remains on the Clarivate board of directors, changing roles from Executive Chair to Non-executive Chair. Following the transition Gear holds full operational responsibility for Clarivate.
Gear comes to Clarivate following a series of executive positions at IHS Markit, serving as Chief Financial Officer (2020-2022) and as President for its business unit for transportation and energy (2016-2020). IHS Markit merged into S&P Global in a $44 billion transaction that closed in Feb 2022. Gear held a succession of roles of increasing responsibility with IHS, Inc. from 2005 through 2016, serving as Executive Vice President at the time the company merged into IHS Markit.
Gear brings experience as a senior executive in public companies and has shepherded organizations through major acquisitions and associated business integrations. Such experience benefits Clarivate as it continues to integrate its business acquisitions including ProQuest and Decision Resources Group.
Other Clarivate executives with previous ties to IHS Markit include James Holmes, Senior Vice President Global Sales for ProQuest (since April 2016) and Stefano Maestri, Chief Technology Officer for Clarivate, was CTO for the financial services division of IHS-Markit.
Impact of the leadership transition
The retirement of Stead from his operational role as CEO, now about 79, does not come unexpectedly. The appointment of Jonathan Gear does not signal a departure from ongoing business strategies. Gear seems well suited to continue the integration of the Clarivate businesses and to pursue opportunities for growth. Gear's experience as a CFO brings important financial and accounting discipline to Clarivate which had to issue a restatement of financial statements due to a reporting error.
From the library perspective, the transition seems neutral. Libraries represent a substantial portion of Clarivate's revenue sources, especially through Web of Science and ProQuest. The appointment of a chief executive from a more library-oriented business would have been a welcome sign.
Jerre Stead steps down as CEO of Clarivate following a concerted process of forming the company, taking it public, and leading it through multiple business acquisitions. Stead was CEO of Churchill Capital Corp founded by Michael Klein as a special purpose acquisitions company, which raised $690 million in its initial public offering in September 2018. In May 2019 Churchill Capital merged with Clarivate Analytics to form Clarivate, with Stead as its Chief Executive Officer and Executive Chair of its board of directors.
Churchill Capital has since raised three additional rounds of IPO funding to form special purpose acquisitions companies. One of these SPACs (Churchill Capital Corp III) is in the process of merging with Multiplan, a major provider of healthcare cost management solutions.
Stead's career has spanned a long succession of executive roles in public companies, primarily in the technology and information services sectors, including the execution of multiple IPOs, mergers, and acquisitions.
- (1965-1987) Following graduation from the University of Iowa, Stead began his business career at Honeywell Corporation in 1965 and advanced through multiple positions until departing the company in 1987.
- (1987 - 1991) Square D, a company manufacturing electronics and electrical distribution equipment. Stead was President and CEO and Chairman by the time the company was acquired by Schneider Electric in 1991.
- (1992-1993) CEO of AT&T Global Business Communications division
- (1993-1995) CEO of NEC Corporation, the computer manufacturing subsidiary of AT&T.
- (1995) CEO of LEGENT Corporation, exiting as the company was acquired by Computer Associates.
- (1996-1999) CEO of Ingram Micro, including leading the company through an IPO to become a public company.
- (2000 - 2016) Multiple roles at IHS Inc., including Chairman and two stints as CEO (2006-2013 and 2015-2016), leading the company through a merger with Markit.
- (2016-2018) IHS Markit. CEO and Chairman. The company was acquired by S&P Global in a deal that concluded in February 2022.
- (2018-2019) Churchill Capital, founded by Michael Klein. CEO. This special purpose acquisition company raised $690 million in its IPO and later merged with Clarivate Analytics to form Clarivate in 2019.
- (2019-2022) CEO and Executive Chair of Clarivate. Upon his announced retirement in September 2022, Stead transitions to the role of Non-Executive Chair.
Stead's many contributions to civic and educational organizations include multiple major gifts to the University of Iowa, substantial support for the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary including an endowment for the Jerre L. and Mary Joy Stead Center for Ethics and Values. Stead was awarded a Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by Indiana University in 2018.