Corner Office Occupants Remain Stable

In the year and a half since Arkansas Business last profiled the chief executives of publicly traded company in the state:

• One companies was sold into private ownership;

• One company shut down;

• One company has left Arkansas for the second time; and

• One company has announced its impending exit from the state.

But there is stability and generally improved stock prices among the 22 CEOs of 21 companies that remain on our list. All of the CEOs of the remaining companies have been in their current positions at least two years.

Click here for profiles of all the state public company CEOs.

The typical CEO is still a white, college-educated male in his 50s — 54 is the average age — earning many times more than the average Arkansan. But the range of age among the CEOs themselves is more than 30 years and their level of compensation varies from $52,000 a year to more than $6 million.

The four companies that have disappeared from the list since the last "CEO Profiles" in November 2003:

• HCB Bancshares of Arkadelphia, now Rock Bancshares of Little Rock. Rock, led by L. Walter Quinn, purchased struggling HCB's subsidiary, Heartland Community Bank, in August 2004 and moved its thrift charter to Bryant. Charles Black was replaced as Heart-land's CEO by Clyde H. Henderson.

• Cannon Express of Springdale, once a prosperous contract hauler for Wal-Mart Stores Inc., shut down in April 2004 after founder Dean Cannon exhausted all options, including selling a controlling interest to Arizona Diversified Equity of Phoenix.

• Cytomedix, which moved its headquarters from Little Rock to Rockville, Md., in September 2004. The move is the third for the company, which was founded in Little Rock as Autologous Wound Therapy Inc. in December 1998. It moved to the Chicago area in 2000, underwent a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in 2001 and moved back to Little Rock in 2002. Kshitij Mohan is its current CEO.

• Delta Systems, an automation and motion control software company in Rogers. Announced earlier this month that it will reincorporate in Canada, where its shares have always been traded on the Canadian Venture Exchange. Jake Bushey remains its CEO.

By the Numbers

The state's youngest CEO is Dwayne Powell, 40, of Pocahontas Bancorp of Jonesboro. The oldest coincidentally has the same last name — Robert Powell, 71, of USA Truck Inc. of Van Buren.

Robert Powell also leads the list when the CEOs are lined up in order of improvement in their stock prices between June 30, 2004, and June 30, 2005. USA Truck was up 102 percent.

The average tenure among the chief executives of Arkansas public companies is more than 10 years. The newest is Ray Dillon, who celebrated his second anni-versary as CEO of Deltic Timber on July 1.

Charles Morgan — who has been leading Acxiom Corp. of Little Rock for 33 years, even before the company went public — has been in the top position longer than anyone else. His leadership, however, is under attack by the company's largest shareholder, ValueAct Capital Partners LP of San Francisco, whose offer to buy all outstanding shares of the company for $23 each was rejected last week.

All of the CEOs are college graduates except Dennis Cossey of ThermoEnergy Corp. of Little Rock, who didn't complete a degree.