Surprise Management Change at Fidelity

In a surprise and surprising announcement, Ellyn McColgan announced she is leaving Fidelity to pursue new opportunities. Ellyn had been viewed as a likely heir apparent when Ned Johnson steps down from his current role (sometime in the next several years). But, it appears that Ellyn didn’t want to wait out the succession and instead devised her own transitional plans. While the impact of her decision to leave won’t affect shareholders in any way, I do view her departure as a blow to Fidelity’s senior management lineup. Moreover, I view her role as one which will likely be filled temporarily by Rodger Lawson, the returning President of FMR Co, as one which could be filled from outside the current management ranks, much the way Fidelity’s new institutional company has been filling its human capital orders. I’m sorry to see Ellyn go; she was a true leader and an exemplary senior officer.