Analyst Note| Joshua Aguilar |
In an announcement that, candidly, surprised us, wide-moat-rated Rockwell Automation announced that it is hiring former 3M CFO Nick Gangestad as its CFO. While Gangestad is still young in his mid-50s, we were surprised by the announcement as he had retired as 3M CFO and spent his entire career of 35 years with the company. We simply figured he would stay permanently retired. We anticipated that the company would search externally after naming Steve Etzel, former head of investor relations, as its interim CFO. Rockwell seemed to telegraph this given Etzel’s limited appearance at its most recent investor day. However, we figured it would retain the services of a CFO from either the software space or one that regularly dealt with navigating multiple joint ventures or strategic alliances.