Shake Up at Carriage Services; COO Jay Dodds Gone at Years End

Funeral Industry News November 9, 2011

We believe that every funeral director should have the tools to succeed. With the help of our field-leading partners, we publish daily funeral industry news and provide free tools to help our readers advance their careers and grow their businesses. Our editorial focus on the future, covering impact-conscious funeral care, trends, tech, marketing, and exploring how today's funeral news affects your future.

Shake Up at Carriage Services; COO Jay Dodds Gone at Years End

Things are starting to shake up at Carriage Services following last weeks 3Q earnings call. It was stated on the call that the current COO Jay Dodds would be leaving the company at the end of the year along with Executive Vice President and General Counsel Bradley Green.

This information was quietly mentioned during the question and answer portion of the call around the 55-minute mark. Listen to the sound byte below as CEO Mel Payne mentions Dodds and Green’s departure.

It is unclear from the call whether Dodds and Green are being forced to leave the company or are leaving on their own, but it seems as though with the changes being made in the companies strategy a personnel change was needed as well.

Dodds being gone from the company is a huge deal. He has been a driving factor in the successes and failures of the company for the past 17 years.

In a press release from Carriage Services sent to their managing partners it is stated that current CEO Mel Payne will head operations and long term vision and strategy while managing partner and private investor Bill Heiligbrodt will head growth and financing strategies, legal and investor relations.

If you listen to the entire call you will notice the importance being put on the companies acquisitions strategy. It sounds like in 2012 Carriage Service will continue to focus heavily on funeral home acquisitions. Mr. Payne also stated on the call the funeral homes are much more profitable than cemeteries, they don’t plan on selling off these cemetery properties just yet, but will not be pursuing more acquisitions at this time.

Shortly after the earning call, board of director Vincent D. Foster also announced his resignation from the board. This was released in a short press release from Carriage Services. Foster has been a board member since 1999 and his current term was not set to end until 2013.

Click here for a full version of the 3Q earning call:

UPDATE: We have heard from multiple “Carriage” people that Dodds and Green are gone from the company (effective now) but they are paid through the end of the year. SEC filings also indicate that by way of separation agreements they will each get two year’s salary.