KB Home, Los Angeles (NYSE:KBH) disclosed late Thursday in an 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that its executive vice president and chief financial officer, Raymond P. Silcock, had left the company on Monday.
The company did not specify the reason for the abrupt departure, saying only that the parties "mutually agreed that Mr. Silcock would conclude his employment" on Dec. 14. Silcock had been with the company only since September.
He has been succeeded by senior vp and chief accounting officer William R.Hollinger on an interim basis during a search for a new CFO.
Silcock leaves with a lump-sum payment of $200,000, representing the bonus he was guaranteed in connection with his hiring, and six months of salary continuation, an aggregate of $300,000, plus he will retain his benefits during that period.
The news surprised Wall Street. Stephen East, home building analyst with Pali Capital, said in a research blog posting that he believed the departure was due to Silcock's "distinctly different style and personality than other senior management." East further surmised that the departure had nothing to do with an ongoing SEC investigation into accounting and disclosure issues at KB launched in October.
"Based on our brief impressions of the CFO, we also believe investors would be well served to view this as a lesser setback to KBH," East wrote. "Why?Because it wasn't working and the stark contrasts in management style were not allowed to fester thus creating a much bigger problem down the road."
Shares of KB were down slightly more than 1% at $13.15 in early trading Friday.