With Brian Stiefset to retire from the company at the end of the year, Johnson Controls International plc on Tuesday announced a chief financial officer transition plan, including the hiring of Olivier Leonetti from Zebra Technologies.
Leonetti will join the company in the next several weeks and will initially serve as executive vice president and CFO-elect. After the company files its fiscal 2020 annual report, likely in November, he will take over the CFO role from Stief.
Stief will continue with in an advisory role with JCI as vice chairman until the end of the calendar year when he will retire.
"Olivier brings over 25 years of extensive international financial management and leadership experience, with deep financial acumen and a strong background in digital technologies,” said George Oliver, chairman and chief executive officer of JCI. “I look forward to Olivier's contribution as we intensify our focus on transforming the future of building technologies and I am confident he will have an immediate impact on the organization as a whole."
Leonetti is currently senior vice president and CFO at Lincolnshire, Illinois-based Zebra Technologies, a provider of enterprise-level data capture and automatic identification solutions. He has held the role since 2016. His previous work includes time at Western Digital, Amgen Inc., Dell Inc., Lex Rac Service plc and Gillette.
He is also on the board of Eaton Corp.
Leonetti will have a base salary of $740,000 and will receive a one-time cash payment of $800,000 and restricted share grant of $5.5 million that will vest over a three-year period. He will also be eligible for a nearly $1.5 million annual incentive bonus for fiscal 2021 and participate in the company’s long-term equity incentive program.
Stief has been with Johnson Controls since 2010 and was named CFO in 2014. His tenure included the merger and integration of Johnson Controls with Tyco International in 2016. The company promoted him to vice chairman, a non-board position, in late 2019 and announced at the time that he would retire at the end of 2020.
JCI awarded Stief a stock package valued at $20 million in September 2017 as an incentive for him to postpone retirement plans and stay on until December of this year. Stief could have potentially triggered a “good reason” resignation clause in his change of control agreement with JCI because of the Tyco deal. He would have been eligible for a $12 million package at the time if he left before September 2019.
"Brian has been an invaluable partner to me, and his contributions have been essential to the successful integration of Johnson Controls and Tyco," Oliver said. "I have valued his leadership and guidance over these last four years, and I would like to thank him for the instrumental role he played in positioning the company for long-term success."