SBA Communications Corporation. a leading global owner and operator of communications infrastructure, announced today that Jeff Stoops will retire from his positions as President and Chief Executive Officer on December 31, 2023. SBA’s Board of Directors has appointed Brendan Cavanagh, SBA’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, to succeed Mr. Stoops as President and CEO, at which time Mr. Cavanagh shall also be appointed to the Company’s Board of Directors. Mr. Stoops shall remain on the Company’s Board of Directors, and upon his retirement shall assume the position of non-executive Chairman of the Board. Steven Bernstein, SBA’s founder and current Chairman of the Board of Directors, will continue to serve on the Board, and Jack Langer will continue in his role as lead independent director. The Company intends to appoint its next Chief Financial Officer later this year.
Brendan Cavanagh joined SBA in February 1998 after spending several years as a CPA in the assurance practice of Arthur Andersen. During his 25-year career at SBA, he has served in a number of positions of increasing responsibility, including in Mergers & Acquisitions, as Vice President – Site Administration and as Chief Accounting Officer, prior to becoming the Company’s Chief Financial Officer in 2008. During Mr. Cavanagh’s tenure as CFO, SBA’s total revenues have grown by 555% and its enterprise value has expanded from $6 billion to $43 billion.
”It has been a tremendous privilege to work side by side with Jeff from the very early days of the wireless infrastructure industry through a period of significant growth to the current state of SBA as a top-performing, multinational company. I am extremely thankful to Jeff for his guidance and support over the last quarter century,” said Brendan Cavanagh, the Company’s next President and CEO. “I am also very excited for the future of SBA. I see many opportunities to support our customers in their continuing efforts to expand the capabilities and depth of their wireless networks in order to meet the constantly growing demand for enhanced wireless services. SBA’s strong foundation and talented leadership team position us well to be a key contributor to our customers’ future success. I am deeply honored to be entrusted with the leadership of such an extraordinary organization, and I look forward to the next chapter for SBA.”
Jeff Stoops joined SBA in March, 1997, initially as Executive Vice President and General Counsel, with the primary charge of leading SBA’s transition from a services provider to the U.S. wireless carrier industry to an independent owner and operator of wireless communications towers. SBA acquired its first towers in June, 1997. Mr. Stoops later served as the Company’s Chief Financial Officer, including during its initial public offering in June, 1999, and later President, before being appointed CEO effective January 1, 2002. As of December 31, 2022, SBA was operating in 16 countries, and owned close to 40,000 tower sites. Mr. Stoops is the longest-serving public company CEO in the history of the global wireless tower industry. During Mr. Stoops’ tenure as CEO, through December 31, 2022, SBA has delivered annualized total shareholder returns of 16% and annualized growth in enterprise value of 17%.
“I am extremely blessed and fortunate to have had the opportunity to lead SBA and work with world-class colleagues in a remarkably dynamic and successful industry” commented Jeff Stoops, President and CEO. “I am very proud of the industry we have shaped, the customers we have served, the shareholders we have rewarded and the employees and communities we have benefitted. I want to give a heartfelt thanks to all who helped me on this remarkable journey, which continues. The time has come to turn the leadership of SBA over to the next generation. I am very excited about the future of SBA under the leadership of Brendan and the rest of our strong executive team. Brendan has been my partner and right-hand for many years, and during that time Brendan has been intimately involved in everything of importance for our Company, including managing our strong balance sheet and capital allocation program. He possesses the skills, character and vision to lead SBA to new heights in an ever-changing industry. The Board, Brendan and I have been preparing Brendan to succeed me for some time, and I will retire with the confidence and comfort in the knowledge that SBA will be in strong and capable hands. We expect the transition will be smooth and seamless, and I look forward to continuing my long relationship with Brendan and SBA as Chairman of the Board of Directors.”
Steven Bernstein, current Chairman of the Board of SBA, said “Jeff has had a tremendous impact on our company and industry. The Board is grateful for his leadership over two decades, a period of time driven by clear and focused vision, outstanding operational execution and integrity. During that time our shareholders have been rewarded handsomely, our customers well-served and the lives of our employees and communities improved. Given the importance of finding the right successor for Jeff, our Board approached this change of leadership in a very diligent manner. Working closely with Jeff, the Board identified Brendan as his successor and is implementing a leadership succession process that will benefit all of our constituents. Brendan is a talented and experienced leader who has worked across SBA in a variety of areas since joining SBA 25 years ago. We know he is ready for the CEO role, and we look forward to working closely with Brendan for the continued success of SBA, our shareholders, customers and employees.”